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Bishop of Saint Agatha, and Founder of the Congregation of the Most 
Holy Redeemer. 



IRZE^T"- IE TJ Gr IE 1ST E Gr H. I 3VC 3VC , 

Priest of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. 

Volume VI. 





ftentenarj? lEitrttton. 



18 vols., Price, per vol., net, $1.28. 

Each book is complete in itself, and any volume will be 
sold separately. 

Volume I. 


" III. 



" VII. 


" XII. 
" XIII. 
" XIV. 


" XVII. 

PREPARATION FOR DEATH ; or, Considerations on the Eter 
nal Truths. Maxims of Eternity Rule of Life. 

Pious Reflections. Spiritual Treatises. 

Prayer. Mental Prayer. The Exercises of a Retreat. 
Choice of a State of Life, and the Vocation to the 
Religious State and to the Priesthood. 

CHRIST ; or, The Mysteries of Faith. 


THE HOLY EUCHARIST. The Sacrifice, the Sacrament, 
and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ. Practice of Love 
of Jesus Christ. Novena to the Holy Ghost. 

VIII. GLORIES OF MARY: i. Explanation of the Salve 
ftegina, or Hail, Holy Queen. Discourses on the Feasts 
of Mary. 2. Her Dolors. Her Virtues. Practices. 
Examples. Answers to Critics. Devotion to the Holy 
Angels. Devotion to St. Joseph. Novena to St. Teresa. 
Novena for the Repose of the Souls in Purgatory. 

VICTORIES OF THE MARTYRS ; or, the Lives of the Most 
Celebrated Martyrs of the Church. 

sixteen Chapters. 2. The last eight Chapters. Appendix 
and various small Works. Spiritual Letters. 

Instructions about the Religious State. Letters and 
Circulars. Lives of two Fathers and of a Lay-brother. 

collection of Material for Ecclesiastical Retreats. Rule 
of Life and Spiritual Rules. 

THE HOLY MASS: Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Ceremonies 
of the Mass. Preparation and Thanksgiving. The Mass 
and the Office that are hurriedly said. 

THE DIVINE OFFICE: Translation of the Psalms and Hymns. 

PREACHING : The Exercises of the Missions. Various 
Counsels. Instructions on the Commandments and 


VARIOUS SMALLER WORKS: Discourses on Calamities. 
Reflections useful for Bishops. Seminaries. Ordi 
nances. Letters. General alphabetical index. 

Benziger Brothers, New York, Cincinnati, and St. Louis. 









Doctor of the Church. 



Priest of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. 


Printers to the Holy Apostolic See. 



JAN 23 ,j53 


By virtue of the authority granted me by the Most Rev. Nicholas 
Mauron, Superior General of the Congregation of the Most Holy 
Redeemer, I hereby sanction the publication of the work entitled 
"The Holy Eucharist," etc., which is Vol. VI. of the new and 
complete edition in English of the works of Saint Alphonsus de 
Liguori, called "The Centenary Edition." 


Sup. Prov. Baltimorensis. 
BALTIMORE, MD., January 16, 1887. 

Copyright, 1887, by EIJ^S FREDERICK SCHAUER. 

by EiX 






I. The sacrifices of the Old Law were figures of the sacrifice of 

Jesus Christ 17 

II. Fulfilment of the prophetic figures 21 



Pious EXERCISE to acquire the proper disposition for making a 

good Confession 61 


I. Preparation for Communion , 68 

Acts before Communion 71 

II. Thanksgiving after Communion 75 

Acts after Communion 77 

LOVING ASPIRATIONS to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. 

Before Communion 83 

After Communion 93 

HYMNS 105 

Holy Communion, 105. To Jesus after Communion 106 


NOTICE 1 10 

To MARY in 



The Visit to the Most Holy Sacrament, 113. The Visit to 

the Blessed Virgin, 118. Spiritual Communion 121 

8 Contents. 



VISITS for every day in the month , 127 

HYMNS 209 

Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament enclosed in the Tabernacle, 

209. The visit to Jesus on the altar 210 


I. The love of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament 213 

II. Jesus remains on the altar, that every one may be able to 

find him 215 

III. The great gift which Jesus has made us by giving him 

self to us in the Blessed Sacrament 216 

IV. The great love which Jesus Christ has shown us in the 

Blessed Sacrament 218 

V. The union of the Soul with Jesus in Holy Communion. . . 220 
VI. The desire which Jesus Christ has to unite himself to us in 

Holy Communion 222 

VII. Holy Communion obtains for us perseverance in divine 

grace 224 

VIII. Preparation for Communion and Thanksgiving after it.. . . 226 


Notice on the devotion to the adorable Heart of Jesus 229 


I. The amiable Heart of Jesus 235 

II. The loving Heart of Jesus 237 

III. The Heart of Jesus Christ panting to be loved 240 

IV. The sorrowful Heart of Jesus 242 

V. The compassionate Heart of Jesus 244 

VI. The generous Heart of Jesus 246 

VII. The grateful Heart of Jesus , . . . 249 

VIII. The despised Heart of Jesus 251 

IX. The faithful Heart of Jesus , , 253 

AFFECTIONS of love towards the Heart of Jesus 256 

HYMNS 258 

The loving Spouse, 258. The loving Spouse in the Heart of 

Jesus 259 

Contents. 9 




I. How deserving Jesus Christ is of our love, on account of 

the love he has shown us in his Passion 263 

II. How much Jesus Christ deserves to be loved by us, on ac 
count of the love he has shown us in instituting the 
Most Holy Sacrament of the altar 275 

III. The great confidence we ought to have in the love which 

Jesus Christ has shown us, and in all he has done for us. 285 

IV. How much we are obliged to love Jesus Christ 293 


He that loves Jesus Christ loves sufferings. (Patience.) 305 


He that loves Jesus Christ loves meekness. (Meekness.). . . 316 


The soul that loves Jesus Christ does not envy the great ones of 
this world, but only those who are greater lovers of Jesus 
Christ 323 


He that loves Jesus Christ avoids lukewarmness, and seeks per 
fection; the means of which are: i. Desire; 2. Resolution; 
3. Mental Prayer; 4. Communion; 5. Prayer 330 

Lukewarmness, 330. Remedies against lukewarmness: i. De 
sire of perfection, 334; 2. Resolution, 337; 3. Mental Prayer. 342 


He that loves Jesus Christ is not vain of his own worth, but 
humbles himself, and is glad to be humbled by others. (Hu 
mility.) 358 

io Contents. 




He that loves Jesus Christ desires nothing but Jesus Christ. 

(Vainglory.) : 3 6 


He that loves Jesus Christ seeks to detach himself from every 

creature. (Detachment.) 371 

Detachment from relatives, above all, in regard to one s vocation, 
379. Sanctity required to enter Holy Orders, 382. Detach 
ment from human respect and self-will 387 


He that loves Jesus Christ is never angry with his neighbor. 

(Meekness.) 392 



WILL) 400 

The necessity of conforming to God s will, 400. Obedience 409 


He that loves Jesus Christ bears all things for Jesus Christ, and 

especially illnesses, poverty, and contempt 415 

i. Patience in sickness, 415. 2. Patience in poverty, 421. 3. 

Patience under contempt 426 


He that loves Jesus Christ believes all his words. (Faith.) 430 


He that loves Jesus Christ hopes for all things from him. (Hope.) 434 

Contents. 1 1 



He that loves Jesus Christ with a strong love does not cease to 
love him in the midst of all sorts of temptations and deso 
lations 446 

i. Temptations; why God permits them, 447. Remedies against 

temptations, 450. 2. Desolations 458 

ABSTRACT of the virtues treated of in this work, to be practised 

by him who loves Jesus Christ 470 

NOVENA to the Holy Ghost. 


I. Love is a fire that inflames the heart 479 

II. Love is a light that enlightens the soul 481 

III. Love is a fountain that satisfies 482 

IV. Love is a dew that fertilizes 484 

V. Love is a repose that refreshes 485 

VI. Love is the virtue that gives strength 487 

VII. Love causes God to dwell in our souls 488 

VIII. Love is a bond that binds 490 

IX. Love is a treasure containing every good 492 

X. The means of loving God and of becoming a saint 494 

Pious EXERCISE to obtain the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost. . . . 496 

HYMN 505 

INDEX ....................................................... 506 

Sacrifice of Jksns Christ, 



IN the two preceding volumes we have been consider 
ing that the Son of God, not content with becoming 
man and immolating himself for our salvation, in order 
to satisfy the love that he bore us, also wished to create 
for himself an entirely new life of love by instituting the 
Holy Eucharist expressly for the purpose of giving him 
self to us in three different ways; namely, as a victim of 
of an infinite price in the Holy Sacrifice; as the food of 
our souls in Holy Communion; and, in the holy taber 
nacle, as a perpetual companion of our exile here upon 

After having paid our homage to our Saviour in his 
sacrament of love, we honor with a special worship his 
divine heart, which is regarded as the seat of his im 
mense love for us. 

Now, as God loves only in order to be loved, we are 
led by the foregoing considerations to the practice of 
the love of Jesus Christ. 

We conclude by speaking of the devotion that is due 
to the Holy Spirit, who is the love that is consubstantial 
with the Father and the Son, through whom God loves 
us, and through whom we love God. 

Such are the contents of this volume, which is Vol 
ume VI. of the ascetical works. 

We place at the beginning of this volume a short 
treatise entitled " The Sacrifice of Jesus Christ," because 
the Sacrifice of the Altar is intimately connected with 
the Sacrifice of the Cross, the latter being the subject 
considered in the last volume, and because the Sacrifice 
of the Altar completes the Sacrifice of the Cross by 
Holy Communion. 

St. Alphonsus wrote this little work in his retreat in 
the year 1776, when he was eighty years of age, and pub 
lished it with his work called the Victories of the Martyrs. 



I ACKNOWLEDGE to have drawn this little treatise on the 
Sacrifice of Jesus Christ from a work composedly a 
learned French author.* His work is complete and 
somewhat diffuse. I have composed and have published 
this abridgment because of the profit that may be de 
rived from it, not only by the priests who say Mass, but 
by the faithful who are present at it. 

My little work bears the title " The Sacrifice of Jesus 
Christ," for, although we distinguish by different names 
the Sacrifice of the Cross from the Sacrifice of the Altar, 

* This is, however, not a mere abridgment that St. Alphonsus 
gives us. As was usual with him, he appropriated the subject and 
treated it after his own manner by confining himself to quoting on 
some points the opinion of the French author. What he ascribes to 
the latter is found, nearly word for word, in the book entitled "L Idee 
du Sacerdoce et du Sacrifice de Jesus-Christ, par le R. P. De Condren, 
etc. Par un Pretre de 1 Oratoire." We doubt, however, whether 
this excellent work is that which our Saint had before him; for it ap 
pears to us that such a work cannot be called anonymous, though the 
learned Oratorian who published it in 1677 gives in the title-page only 
his title, and the initials of his name in his dedication, by signing 
himself P. Q. (This is Father Pasquier Quesnel, who later on became 
unfortunately so famous.) This doubt is confirmed by the remark 
that we add further on, page 26, and is changed almost into certainty 
in view of a passage that we read on page 36, and that we have not 
seen in the aforesaid work. We therefore believe that there exists 
a more recent work in which " L Idee" of Father De Condren is re 
produced in an incomplete manner and without the name of the 
author. ED. 

1 6 Notice. 

yet it is substantially the same sacrifice. In fact, we 
find at the altar the same victim and the same priest 
that one day offered himself on the cross. The Sacrifice 
of the Altar is a continuation or a renewal of the Sacri 
fice of the Cross, and differs from it only in the manner 
in which it is offered. 

&!je Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, 

The Sacrifices of the Old Law were Figures of the Sacrifice of 
*~ Jesus Christ. 

All the sacrifices of the old law were figures of the 
sacrifice of our divine Redeemer, and there were four 
kinds of these sacrifices; namely, the sacrifices of peace, 
of thanksgiving, of expiation, and of impetration. 

1. The sacrifices of peace viz* t instituted to render to 
God the worship of adoration that is due to him as the 
sovereign master of all things. Of this kind were the 

2. The sacrifices of thanksgiving were destined to give 
thanks to the Lord for all his benefits. 

3. The sacrifices of expiation were established to obtain 
the pardon of sin. This kind of sacrifice was specially 
represented in the Feast of the Expiation by the emis 
sary-goat, 1 which, having been laden with all the sins of 
the people, was led forth out of the camp of the He 
brews, and afterwards abandoned in the desert to be 
there devoured by ferocious beasts. This sacrifice was 
the most expressive figure of the sacrifice of the cross. 
Jesus Christ was laden with all the sins of men, as Isaias 
had foretold: The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us 
all? He was afterwards ignominiously led forth from 
Jerusalem, whither the Apostle invites us to follow him 

1 Lev. xvi. 8. 

2 " Et posuit Dominus in eo iniquitatem omnium nostrum." ha. 
liii. 6. 


1 8 The Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. 

by sharing in his opprobrium: Let us go forth therefore to 
him without the camp, bearing his reproach. 1 He was aban 
doned to ferocious beasts; that is to say, to the Gentiles, 
who crucified him. 

4. Finally, the sacrifices of impetration had for their 
object to obtain from God his aid and his grace. 

Now, all these sacrifices were abolished by the coming 
of the Redeemer, because only the sacrifice of Jesus 
Christ, which was a perfect sacrifice, while all the ancient 
sacrifices were imperfect, was sufficient to expiate all 
the sins, and merit for man every grace. This is the 
reason why the Son of God on entering the world said to 
his Father: Sacrifice and oblation Thou wouldst not; but a body 
Thou hast fitted to me. Holocausts for sin did not please Thee. 
Then said I: Behold, I come; in the head of the book it is 
written of me, that I should do Thy will, O God? Hence, by 
offering to God the sacrifice of Jesus Christ we can fulfil 
all our duties towards his supreme majesty, and provide 
for all our wants; and by this means we succeed in main 
taining a holy intercourse between God and ourselves. 

We must also know that the Old Law exacted five 
conditions in regard to the victims which were to be 
offered to God so as to be agreeable to him; namely, 
sanctification, oblation, immolation, consumption, and 

i. The victim had to be sanctified, or consecrated to 
God, so that there might not be offered to him anything 
that was not holy nor unworthy of his majesty. Hence, 
the animal destined for sacrifice had to be without stain, 
without defect; it was not to be blind, lame, weak, nor 

" Exeamus igitur ad eum extra castra, improperium ejus por- 
tantes." Heb. xiii. 13. 

" Hostiam et oblationem noluisti, corpus autem aptasti mihi; 
holocautomata pro peccato non tibi placuerunt; tune dixi: Ecce 
venio; in capite libri scriptum estde me, utfaciam, Deus, voluntatem 
tuam." Heb. x. 5. 

/. The Sacrifices of I he Old Law. 19 

deformed, according to what was prescribed in the Book 
of Deuteronomy. 1 This condition indicated that such 
would be the Lamb of God, the victim promised for the 
salvation of the world; that is to say, that he would be 
holy, and exempt from every defect. We are thereby in 
structed that our prayers and our other good works are 
not worthy of being offered to God, or at least can never 
be fully agreeable to him, if they are in any way defec 
tive. Moreover, the animal thus sanctified could no longer 
be employed for any profane usage, and was regarded as 
a thing consecrated to God in such a manner that only a 
priest was permitted to touch it. This shows us how 
displeasing it is to God if persons consecrated to him 
busy themselves without real necessity with the things 
of the world, and thus live in distraction and in neglect 
of what concerns the glory of God. 

2. The victim had to be offered to God; this was done 
by certain words that the Lord himself had prescribed. 

3. It had to be immolated, or put to death; but this im 
molation was fiot always brought about by death, prop 
erly so called; for the sacrifice of the loaves of proposi 
tion, or show-bread, was accomplished, for example, 
without using iron or fire, but only by means of the 
natural heat of those who ate of them. 

4. The victim had to be consumed. This was done by fire. 
The sacrifice in which the victim was entirely consumed 
by fire was called holocaust. The latter was thus en 
tirely annihilated in order to indicate by this destruction 
the unlimited power that God has over all his creatures, 
and that as he created them out of nothing, so he can 
reduce them to the nothingness from which they came. 
In fact, the principal end of the sacrifice is to acknowl 
edge God as a sovereign being, so superior to all things 
that everything before him is purely nothing; for all 

1 Devt. xv. 21. 

2O The Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. 

things are nothing in presence of him who possesses all 
things in himself. The smoke that came from this sac 
rifice and arose in the air signified that God received it 
as a sweet odor, that is to say, with pleasure, as is 
written of the sacrifice of Noe : Noe . . . offered holo 
causts upon the altar; and the Lord smelled a sweet savor? 

5. All the people, together with the priest, had to be 
partakers of the victim. Hence, in the sacrifices, except 
ing the holocaust, the victim was divided into three 
parts, one part of which was destined for the priest, one 
for the people, and one for the fire. This last part was 
regarded as belonging to God, who by this means com 
municated in some manner with those who were par 
takers of the victim. 

These five conditions are found reunited in the sacri 
fice of the Paschal Lamb. The Lord had commanded 
Moses 2 that, on the tenth day of the month on which 
the Jews had been delivered from the slavery of Egypt, 
a lamb of one year and without blemish should be taken 
and separated from the flock; and thus were verified the 
conditions enumerated above, namely: i. The separation 
of the lamb signified that it was a victim consecrated to 
God; 2. This consecration was succeeded by the oblation, 
which took place in the Temple, where the lamb was pre 
sented; 3. On the fourteenth day of the month the 
immolation took place, or the lamb was killed; 4. Then 
the lamb was roasted and divided among those present; 
and this was the partaking of it, or communion; 5. 
Finally, the lamb having been eaten, what remained of 
it was consumed by fire, and thus was the sacrifice con 

"Noe . . . obtulit holocausta super altare; odoratusque est Domi- 
nus odorem suavitatis." -Gen. viii. 20. 
2 Exod. xii. 3. 

//. Fulfilment of the Figures. 2 1 


Fulfilment of the Prophetic Figures. 

The Sacrifice of our Lord, as we have said, was a per 
fect sacrifice, of which those sacrifices of the Old Law 
were but signs, imperfect figures, and what the Apostle 
calls weak and needy elements. 1 The sacrifice offered by 
Jesus Christ really fulfilled all the conditions mentioned 
above. The first condition, which is the sanctification, or 
the consecration of the victim, was accomplished in the 
Incarnation of the Word by God the Father himself, as is 
mentioned in the Gospel of St. John: Whom the Father 
hath sanctified? Likewise, when announcing to the 
Blessed Virgin that she was chosen to be the Mother of 
the Son of God, the Angel said: The Holy which shall be 
born of thee shall be called the Son of God* Thus this divine 
victim, who was to be sacrificed for the salvation of the 
world, had already been sanctified by God, when he was 
born of Mary. From the first moment in which the 
Eternal Word took a human body, he was consecrated 
to God to be the victim of the great sacrifice that was 
to be accomplished on the Cross for the salvation of 
men. In regard to this our Lord said to his Father: 
But a body Thou hast fitted to me . . . that I should do Thy 
will, O God? 

The second condition, or the oblation, was also fulfilled 
at the moment of the Incarnation, when Jesus Christ 
voluntarily offered himself to atone for the sins of men. 
Knowing that divine justice could not be satisfied by all 

1 " Infirma et egena elementa." Gal. iv. 9. 

2 "Quern Pater sanctificavit." John, x. 36. 

3 " Quod nascetur ex te Sanctum, vocabitur Filius Dei." Luke, 
i- 35- 

4 "Corpus autem aptasti mihi, . . . ut faciam, Deus, voluntatem 
tuam." Heb. x. 5. 

2 2 The Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. 

the ancient sacrifices, nor by all the works of men, he 
offered himself to atone for all the sins of men, and hence 
he said to God, Sacrifices, and oblations, and holocausts for 
sin, Thou wouldst not. . . . Then said /, Behold, I come to do 
Thy will, O God. 1 Then the Apostle adds immediately, /;/ 
which will we are sanctified by the oblation of the body of 
Jesus Christ once. 1 This last text is remarkable. Sin had 
rendered all men unworthy of being offered to God and 
of being accepted by him, and, therefore, it was neces 
sary that Jesus Christ should offer himself for us in order 
to sanctify us by his grace, and to make us worthy of be 
ing accepted by God. And this offering which our Lord 
then made of himself did not limit itself to that moment, 
but it only then began; it always has continued since, 
and it will continue forever. It is true it will cease on 
earth at the time of Antichrist: the Sacrifice of the Mass 
is to be suspended for twelve hundred and ninety days; 
that is, for three years six months and a half, according 
to the prophecy of Daniel: And from the time when the con 
tinual sacrifice shall Jbe taken away, and the abomination unto 
desolation shall be set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred 
ninety days? Yet the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ will never 
cease, since the Son of God will always continue to offer 
himself to his Father by an eternal sacrifice, for he him 
self is the priest and the victim, but an eternal victim 
and an eternal priest, not according to the order of Aaron, 
of which the priesthood and the sacrifice were tempo 
rary, imperfect, and inadequate to appease the anger of 
God against rebellious man, but according to the order 
of Melchisedech, as David predicted : Thou art a priest ac- 

" Quia hostias et oblationes et holocautomata noluisti . . . tune 
dixi : Ecce venio, ut faciam, Deus, voluntatem tuam." Heb. x. 8. 

" In qua voluntate sanctificati sumus per oblationem corporis 
Jesu Christ! semel." Ibid. 10. 

" Et a tempore cum ablatum fuerit juge sacrificium, et posita 
fuerit abominatio in desolatione, dies mille ducenti nonaginta." 
Dan. xii. n. 

//. Fulfilment of the Figures, 23 

cording to the order of Melchisedech} The priesthood of 
Jesus Christ will, therefore, be eternal, since, even after 
the end of the world, he will always continue to offer in 
heaven this same victim that he once offered on the 
Cross for the glory of God and for the salvation of man 

The third condition of the sacrifice namely, the im 
molation of the victim was evidently accomplished by 
the death of our Lord on the Cross. 

There remains for us yet to verify, in the Sacrifice of 
Jesus Christ, the two other conditions requisite to ren 
der a sacrifice perfect that is, the consumption of the vic 
tim and i\it partaking of it. 

It is then asked, What was this consumption of the 
victim in the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ ? for although his 
body was by death separated from his holy soul, yet it 
was not consumed, nor destroyed. 

The anonymous author of whom I spoke in the begin 
ning, says that this fourth condition was fulfilled by the 
resurrection of our Lord ; for, then, his adorable body 
was divested of all that is terrestrial and mortal, and 
was clothed in divine glory. He adds that it is this 
glory that Jesus Christ asked of his Father before his 
death: And now glorify Thou me, O Father, with Thyself, 
with the glory which I had, before the world was, with Thee? 
Our Lord did not ask this glory for his divinity, since 
he possessed it from all eternity as being the Word 
equal to the Father; but he asked it for his humanity, 
and he obtained it at his resurrection, by which he 
entered in a certain manner into his divine glory. 

In speaking of the fifth condition, which is, the par 
taking of the victim, or Communion, the same author 

" Tu es Sacerdos in aeternum secundurn ordinem Melchisedech." 
Ps. cix. 4. 

" Et nunc clarifica me tu, Pater, apud temetipsum, claritate 
quam habui, priusquam mundus fieret, apud te." John, xvii. 5. 

24 The Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, 

says that it is also fulfilled in heaven, where all the 
blessed are partakers of the victim of the Sacrifice that 
Jesus Christ continues to offer to God while offering 

These two reflections, made by the author to explain 
the two last conditions of the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, 
are wise and ingenious ; but for myself I think that the 
two conditions of which there is question, namely, the 
consumption and Communion, are manifestly fulfilled 
in the Sacrifice of the Altar, which, as has been declared 
by the Council of Trent, is the same as that of the Cross. 
In fact, the Sacrifice of the Mass, instituted by our Lord 
before his death, is a continuation of the Sacrifice of the 
Cross. Jesus Christ wished that the price of his blood, 
shed for the salvation of men, should be applied to us 
by the Sacrifice of the Altar ; in which the victim offered 
is the same, though it is there offered differently from 
what it is on the Cross, that is, without the shedding of 
blood. These are the words of the Council of Trent : 
" Although Christ our Lord was to offer himself once to 
his Eternal Father on the altar of the Cross by actually 
dying to obtain for us eternal redemption, yet as his 
priesthood was not to become extinct by his death, in 
order to leave his Church a visible sacrifice suited to the 
present condition of men, a sacrifice which might at the 
same time represent to us the bloody sacrifice con 
summated on the Cross, preserve the memory of it to the 
end of the world, and apply the salutary fruits of it for 
the remission of the sins which we daily commit ; at his 
last supper, on the very night on which he was betrayed, 
giving proof that he was established a priest forever 
according to the order of Melchisedech, he offered to 
God the Father his body and blood, under the appear 
ances of bread and wine, and, under the same symbols, 
gave them to the apostles, whom he constituted at the 
same time priests of the New Law. By these words, 

//. Fulfilment of .the Figures. 25 

Do ye this in remembrance of me/ he commissioned 
them and their successors in the priesthood to conse 
crate and offer his body and blood, as the Catholic 
Church has always understood and taught." And 
further on the Council declares that the Lord, appeased 
by the oblation of the Sacrifice of Mass, grants us his 
graces and the remission of sins. It says : * It is one 
and the same victim ; the one that offers sacrifice is 
the same one who, after having sacrificed himself on 
the Cross, offers himself now by the ministry of the 
priest ; there is no difference except in the manner of 
offering." : 

Jesus Christ has, then, paid the price of our redemp 
tion in the Sacrifice of the Cross. But he wishes that the 
fruit of the ransom given should be applied to us in the 
Sacrifice of Altar, being himself in both the chief sacri- 
ficer, who offers the same victim, namely, his own body 
and his own blood; with this difference only, that on the 
Cross his blood was shed, while it is not shed at the 

1 " Is igitur Deus et Dominus noster, etsi semel semetipsum in ara 
crucis, morte intercedente, Deo Patri oblaturus erat, ut aeternam illic 
redemptionem operaretur; quia tamen per mortem sacerdotium ejus 
exstinguendum non erat; in coena novissima, qua nocte tradebatur, 
ut dilectae sponsae suae Ecclesiae visibile, sicut hominum natura exigit, 
relinqueret sacrificium, quo cruentum illud semel in cruce peragen- 
dum repraesentaretur, ejusque memoria in finem usque saeculi per- 
maneret, atque illius salutaris virtus in remissionem eorum, quae a 
nobis quotidie committuntur, peccatorum applicaretur, Sacerdotem 
secundum ordinem Melchisedech se in aeternum constitutum decla- 
rans, corpus et sanguinem suum sub speciebus panis et vini Deo 
Patri obtulit; ac, sub earumdem rerum symbolis, Apostolis, quos tune 
Novi Testament! Sacerdotes constituebat, ut sumerent, tradidit; et 
eisdem eorumque in sacerdotio successoribus, ut offerrent, praccepit 
per hsec verba: Hoc facite in meam commemorationem; uti semper 
Catholica Ecclesia intellexit et docuit." Sess. 22, c. I. 

2 " Una enim eademque est Hostia, idem nunc offerens Sacerdotis 
ministerio, qui seipsum tune in cruce obtulit, sola offerendi ratione 
diversa." Sess. 22, c. 2. 

26 The Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. 

altar. Hence the Roman catechism J teaches that the 
Sacrifice of the Mass does not serve only to praise God 
and to thank him for the gifts that he has granted us, but 
it is a true propitiatory sacrifice, by which we obtain from 
the Lord pardon for our sins and the graces of which we 
stand in need. Because the fruit of the death of Jesus 
Christ is applied to us by the Sacrifice of the Altar, the 
Church expresses herself thus in her prayers: "As often 
as the memory of the Sacrifice of the Cross is celebrated, 
so often is accomplished the work of our redemption." : 

Now, in the Mass we find not only the three essential 
parts of the Sacrifice of the Cross, that is, the sanctifica- 
tion and oblation of the victim, as also the immolation, 
which is here done mystically, the consecration of the body 
and that of the blood taking place separately, but we 
also find the two other parts of the sacrifice; namely, the 
destruction or consumption, communion or partaking, of 
the victim. The destruction or consumption is accom 
plished by the natural heat of those who receive the 
consecrated Host. Communion or partaking of the 
victim consists in the distribution of the Holy Eucharist 
to the faithful who approach the altar for this purpose. 

In this manner we clearly see realized in the Sacrifice 
of the Altar the five conditions required in the ancient 
sacrifices, all of which were signs and figures of the 
great Sacrifice of our Lord.* 

1 P. 2, C. 4, q 62. 

" Quoties hujus Hostise commemoratio celebratur, opus nostrae 
redemptionis exercetur." Dom. 9 p. Pent. 

* It seems to us that the two explanations which we have just 
read the explanation of the anonymous author and that of St. Al- 
phonsus about the consummation or the last two parts of the Sac 
rifice of Jesus Christ can be and should be admitted, should not ex 
clude each other, but should be united. It was necessary that this 
great sacrifice, the only real sacrifice worthy of God, should be con 
summated in heaven and on earth at the same time, to unite to God 

//. Fulfilment of the Figures. 27 

the body of Jesus Christ entirely; that is, the Church triumphant and 
the Church militant : in heaven, by the glorious union of Jesus Christ, 
of the Blessed Virgin, of the angels, of the saints with God, and 
among themselves in the bosom of God in which the sacrifice is per 
fect and eternal : on earth, by Holy Mass and Communion, in which 
all the faithful partake of the same victim under the Eucharistic veil. 
The body of the Redeemer, immolated on the Cross, had, therefore, 
to be transformed in a twofold manner ; namely, by the resurrection, 
for the consummation of the sacrifice in heavenly glory ; by the Eu 
charist, for the consummation of the sacrifice in earthly combats. 
This twofold consummation of the true sacrifice was typified in the cere 
monies of the Old Law: the burning of the victim represented heavenly 
Communion, and the eating of it represented earthly Communion. 
But in heaven, as in Holy Mass, we have not only consummation, but 
we have all the parts of the Sacrifice of the Cross and of the sacri 
fices of the Old Law. Hence, three kinds of sacrifices, or three 
degrees, are to be distinguished. In the Old Law there were figures 
without the reality ; in the New Law we have the reality under the 
figures or appearances; in glory we have the reality exposed and un 
veiled. Such is, briefly, the thought of Pere De Coudren, wisely de 
veloped by him who published it. Such is, also, without doubt, the 
thought of St. Alphonsus; for otherwise we should not understand 
what he says on page 22, where he explains the text taken from 
Daniel. ED. 

01)ort explanation of tl)e Praters of Illass. 

Mass is rightly divided into six parts. The first part 
is the preparation for the sacrifice ; and this is made at 
the foot of the altar. The second part extends from the 
Introit to the Credo, inclusively and was formerly called 
the Mass of the Catechumens, who had to leave the church 
after the Credo. The third part contains the Offertory 
and the Preface. The fourth part comprises the Canon 
with the Pater Noster ; for the Canon in olden times 
finished with the Pater Noster, as a learned author con 
cludes from a passage in the writings of St. Gregory 
the Great. 1 The fifth part begins with the prayer Libera 
nos, qucesumus, Domine (" Deliver us, O Lord, we beseech 
Thee"), which is a preparation for Communion, and in 
cludes Communion. The sixth and last part comprises 
under the form of thanksgiving the rest of the Mass. 

The Preparation that is made at the Foot of the Altar. 

In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti. Amen ("In 
the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy 
Ghost. Amen"). 

In order to sacrifice a victim one must have the power 
over its life and death ; but as God only has the power 
over the life of his incarnate Son, who is the victim of 
the Sacrifice of the Mass, the priest needs divine author 
ity in order to be able to offer Jesus Christ to his heavenly 
Father. Yet as he is invested with the authority that 

1 Epist. 1. 7, ind. 2, ep. 63. 

Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 29 

belongs to the priesthood, he says, in union with Jesus 
Christ, who is the principal one that offers that sacrifice, 
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the 
Holy Ghost ; thus declaring that he offers the sacrifice 
by the authority of the three Persons. 

The priest afterwards recites the antiphon Introibo ad 
altare Dei (" I will go unto the altar of God "), and the 
psalm Judica me Deus ("Judge me, O God"). He im 
plores the help of God against the enemies who are laying 
snares for him. Then expressing the pain that he feels 
of seeing himself, as it were, rejected by the Lord, he 
begs him to assist him with his light, and to console 
him with the graces that he promised by leading him 
into his tabernacle. Finally, he reproaches himself for 
indulging in fear, for why should he be troubled when 
he has with him his God in whom he should confide ? 

Innocent III. 1 attests that the recitation before Mass of 
the psalm Judica me was the custom of his time, that is, 
in the twelfth century ; and Cardinal Lambertini, after 
wards Benedict XIV., 2 assures us that it was recited be 
fore the eighth century. The psalm is concluded with 
the Gloria Patri. It was Pope St. Damasus who ordained 
that each psalm should be concluded in this manner. It 
is, however, believed that the Gloria Patri was intro 
duced by the Council of Nice, or, as we are told by Ba- 
ronius 3 and St. Basil, even by the Apostles, the Council 
of Nice having added only these words, Sicut erat, etc. 

Adjutorium nostrum in nomine Domini ("Our help is in 
the name of the Lord"). Affrighted by the grandeur 
of the act he is about to perform, and by the thought of 
his unworthiness, the priest asks God s help in the name 
of Jesus Christ ; and acknowledging himself guilty, he 
accuses himself of his sins, not only before God, but 
before the Blessed Virgin and all the saints, who on the 

1 De Alt. Myst. \. 2, c. 13. 9 De Missa S. 1. 2, c. 3. 3 Ann. 325. 

30 Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 

last day, with Jesus Christ, will pronounce judgment 
upon sinners. 

Deus, tu conversus, vivificabis nos ("Thou, O Lord," says 
the priest, " wilt turn and bring us to life"). The sinner 
remains in death so long as God in his goodness does 
not come to restore to him the life of grace. Then he im 
plores anew the divine mercy : Ostende nobis, Domine, mise- 
ricordiam tuam (" Show us, O Lord, Thy mercy") ; and 
supplicates the Lord to hear him : Domine, exaudi ora- 
tionem meam (" O Lord, hear my prayer"). 

Before leaving the people to go up to the altar, the 
priest says to them, Dominus vobiscnm (" The Lord be 
with you "). By these words he wishes and asks that 
Jesus Christ may grant to the people as well as to him 
self the effects of the prayers that he has said ; and the 
server expresses to him the same wish when answering 
for all the people : Et cum spiritu tuo ("And with Thy 
spirit"). These reciprocal wishes indicate the union of 
faith in Jesus Christ that exists between the priest and 
the people. 

Anfer a nobis, etc. (" Take away from us our iniquities, 
etc."). In going up the steps of the altar, the priest begs 
the Lord to deliver him from all iniquities, in order that 
he may approach the Holy of Holies with a pure heart ; 
that is to say, in order that he may worthily offer up the 
great sacrifice. 

Oramus te, Domine, per mcrita Sanctorum tuorum, etc. 
("We beseech Thee, O Lord, by the merits of Thy 
saints, etc."). Having reached the altar, he kisses it, to 
unite himself to Jesus Christ, represented by the altar; 
and, through the merits of the holy martyrs whose relics 
are therein enclosed, he conjures our Lord to deign to 
pardon him all his sins. 

From the first ages the Church was accustomed to 
offer up the Eucharistic sacrifice on the tombs of the 
martyrs who had sacrificed their lives for God, and who 

Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 3 1 

for this reason have always been particularly honored in 
the Church. During the first period of the Church there 
were no other festivals than those of the mysteries of 
Jesus Christ, those of the Blessed Virgin, and the anni 
versaries of the martyrs. However, it is not to the saints, 
but only to God that altars are erected, " and," as St. 
Augustine says, " we have not erected an altar to the 
martyr, Stephen, but with the relics of the martyr Ste 
phen we have erected an altar to God." 1 

From the Introit to the Credo. 

It is usually in the Introit that the Church proposes 
the subject of the feast that is celebrated. Mention is 
therein made of some divine mystery, of the Blessed 
Virgin, or of some other saint whom the Church honors 
on that day, so that we simply render this honor to the 
saint, since the sacrifice, as we have said, is offered only 
to God. It is asserted that the author of the Introit is 
St. Gregory the Great, as may be seen in the works of 
Benedict XIV. 2 

Kyrie, eleison ; Christe, elcison. These are Greek words 
that mean "Lord, or Christ, have mercy." This prayer 
is addressed three times to the Father, three times to 
the Son, and three times to the Holy Ghost. Durand 3 
says that Mass was begun to be said in Greek in the 
Oriental Church at the time of the Emperor Adrian L, 
about the year 140. Pope St. Sylvester ordered that, 
after the example of the Greeks, the Kyrie elcison should 
be said in the Latin Church. According to Cardinal 
Bellarmine 4 this custom was introduced into Italy about 

1 " Nos, in isto loco, non aram fccimus Stephano, sed de reliquiis 
Stephani aram Deo." Serm. 318, E. B. 

De Missfr S. 1. 2, c. 4. 3 Ration. 1. 4, c. I. 

4 De Miss. \. 2, c. 16. 

32 Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 

a hundred and fifty years before St. Gregory. Thereby 
is shown the union that exists between the Greek and 
the Latin Church. 

Gloria in excelsis Deo, etc. (" Glory be to God on high, 
etc."). This canticle or prayer is formed of the words 
that the celestial choirs used when the Angel came to 
announce to the shepherds the birth of the Saviour ; 
" Glory to God in the highest : and on earth peace to 
men of good will." The remaining words were added 
by the Church. In it God is thanked for his glory, be 
cause God has used our salvation for his glory by saving 
us through Jesus Christ, who, in offering himself as a 
sacrifice to his Father, has procured salvation for men, 
and has given, at the same time, infinite glory to God. 
Then the Church, addressing herself to Jesus Christ, 
asks him by the merits of his sacrifice to have pity on 
us; and she concludes by proclaiming him: Quoniam 
tu solus Sanctus, tu solus Dominus, tu solus Altissimus, 
Jesu Christe, cum Sancto Spiritu in gloria Dei Patris. 
Amen ("For Thou only art holy; Thou only art Lord; 
Thou only, O Jesus Christ, art Most High in the glory 
of God the Father. Amen"). For our Saviour, who 
sacrifices himself as a victim, is at the same time God, 
equal to Him to whom the sacrifice is offered. 

Then follows the prayer or Collect, thus called because 
the priest, performing the office of mediator between 
God and men, collects all the prayers of the people, and 
presents them to God. The Collect is said in a suppli 
ant manner, with outstretched and raised hands. In 
these prayers are asked of God the graces that have 
reference to the mystery of the day: for example, at 
Easter, the grace to rise with Jesus Christ, and at the 
Ascension to dwell with him in spirit in heaven; or we 
ask for those graces that we wish to obtain through the 

1 Luke, ii. 14. 

Sliort Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 33 

intercession of the saint whose feast we are celebrating. 
But all these prayers are concluded with the name of 
Jesus Christ : Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum 
(" Through our Lord Jesus Christ"). Because all the 
graces that we obtain are given to us chiefly in view of 
the merits of Jesus Christ. It is not true, as the innova 
tors say, that we offer the Sacrifice of the Altar to the 
saints. It is altogether false; for we know very well 
that the sacrifice, being a cult or worship that is due to 
the sovereign Lord of the universe, can be offered only 
to God; and if at the Mass we make mention of the 
saints, we do so only because of the favors that they 
have received from God, to whom they acknowledge 
they are indebted for all the happiness that they pos 

Here follow the Epistle and the Gospel. While list 
ening to the reading of the Epistle, we must hear it as if 
it is God himself who speaks by the mouth of his proph 
ets and apostles. 

The Epistle is followed by the Gradual, which, accord 
ing to Bellarmin, was sung in former times while the 
deacon ascended the steps of the ambo an elevated pul 
pit to read the Gospel. The Gradual was followed by 
the Alleluia, a Hebrew word that signifies Praise the Lord. 
But in Lent the Alleluia, which expresses joy, is replaced 
by the Tract, which Abbot Rupert calls the lamentation 
of penitents (Pxnitcntium lamentum). 

The priest then leaving the left side of the altar, which 
represents the Jewish people, passes to the right side, 
which represents the Gentiles, who accepted the Gospel 
that was rejected by the Jews. We should listen to the 
Gospel as if we heard the words of our divine Saviour 
instructing us himself, and we should at the same time 
ask him for the necessary help to put in practice what 
he teaches. It is an ancient custom to stand during the 
reading of the Gospel, to show that we are ready to fol- 

34 Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 

low the precepts and counsels that our Lord points out 
to us. 

Credo (" I believe"). While the priest is reciting the 
symbol, we should renew our faith in all the mysteries 
and all the dogmas that the Church teaches. By the 
symbol was formerly understood a military sign, a mark by 
which many recognize one another, and are distinguished 
from one another: this at present distinguishes believers 
from unbelievers. Benedict XIV. 1 tells us that at Rome 
the recitation of the symbol during Mass was begun only 
in the eleventh century. 

The Offertory and the Preface. 

The Offertory embraces everything from the Dominus 
vobiscum till the Preface. In offering the bread and 
wine the priest calls them the immaculate Host, the Chalice 
of salvation. We should not be astonished at this; for all 
the prayers and all the ceremonies before and after the 
consecration have reference to the divine Victim. It is 
at the moment of consecration that the Victim presents 
himself to God, that he offers himself to him, and that 
the sacrifice is offered; but as these different acts cannot 
be explained at the same time, they are explained one 
after the other. The priest then offers by anticipation 
the bread prepared for the sacrifice, and while saying, 
Suscipe, sancte Pater, hanc immaculatam Hostiam, etc. 
("Accept, O holy Father, this immaculate Host, etc."); 
and he offers the wine as if it had already been conse 
crated, by saying, Offerimus tibi, Dominc, Calicem salu- 
taris, etc. (" We offer unto Thee, O Lord, the Chalice of 
salvation, etc.") ; because this wine, being afterwards 
changed into the blood of Jesus Christ, becomes our sal- 

De Missa S. 1. 2, c. 8, 

Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 35 

vation. St. Augustine says that as at the Eucharistic 
Table our Saviour offers us to eat and to drink his body 
and his blood, we should also offer to him our body and 
our blood by giving ourselves entirely to him, being 
ready to sacrifice our life for his glory, should it be neces 
sary. These are the beautiful words of the holy Doctor: 
" You know what this banquet is, and what nourishment 
is offered you at this table. Since Jesus Christ gives 
entirely his body and his blood, let no one approach 
without giving himself entirely to the Lord." 

A little water is mixed with the wine to represent the 
mixture or the union that takes place in the Incarnation 
of the Word between the divinity and the humanity, and 
also to represent the intimate union that is effected in the 
sacramental Communion between Jesus Christ and the 
person who communicates a union which St. Augus 
tine calls Mixtnra Dei et hominis ("A mixture of God 
and of man"). Hence the priest, in the prayer which he 
recites while mixing the water with the wine, beseeches 
God to grant that, as his divine Son became partaker of 
our humanity, we may be made partakers of his divinity. 
The Council of Trent declares that this mingling of water 
and of wine in the chalice is prescribed: "The holy 
Synod admonishes that it is enjoined on the priests by 
the Church that they should mix water with the wine 
that is to be offered in the chalice, as it is believed that 
the Lord has done the same thing." 8 However, this is 
only an ecclesiastical, not a divine precept. 

Offcrimus tibi, Domine, Calicem salutaris, etc. (" We offer 
unto Thee, O Lord, the Chalice of salvation, etc."). The 
chalice of salvation is offered to the Lord, so that it -may 

1 " Mensa quae sit, nostis; ibi est corpus et sanguis Christi; qui ac- 
cedit ad talem mensam, praeparet talia." In Jo. tr. 47. 

2 " Monet sancta Synodus praeceptum esse ab Ecclesia Sacerdoti- 
bus, ut aquam vino in calice offerendo miscerent; quod Christum Do- 
minum ita fecisse credatur." Sess. 22 c. 7. 

36 Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 

arise in his divine presence as an agreeable odor, for our 
salvation and for the salvation of the whole world. 
Cardinal Bona, 1 in his Liturgy, assures us that neither 
in the Sacramentarium of St. Gregory, nor in other authors, 
is any prayer found for the offering of the bread and 
of the wine; however, the same Cardinal says that in the 
ancient Liturgy which he caused to be published we 
find the prayers that were recited by the clergy as well 
as by the faithful when the latter presented to the priest 
their offerings. Moreover, our French author says that 
the prayers recited at present by the priest at the obla 
tion of the bread and of the wine have reference to the 
offerings which the faithful formerly made, not at the 
altar, but at the balustrade of the choir. 

In spiritu humilitatis et in animo contrito suscipiamur a te, 
Doniine, etc. (" In the spirit of humility, and with a con 
trite heart, let us be received by Thee, O Lord, etc."). 
The priest presents himself before our Lord with an 
humble and a contrite heart, and begs him to bless the 
great sacrifice that is about to be offered: Vc/ii, Sanctifi- 
cator, etc. ("Come, O Sanctifier, etc."). 

Then he goes to wash his hands, out of respect for this 
divine sacrifice, while reciting the psalm Lavabo t/iter in- 
nocentes manus uieas, etc. (" I will wash my hands among 
the innocent, etc."). 

Suscipe, Sancta Trinitas, etc. (" Receive, O Holy Trinity, 
etc."). By this prayer the priest offers to God Jesus 
Christ as a victim already immolated by his death on the 
Cross. Heretics calumniate us when they affirm that we 
offer to God two different sacrifices, namely, the sacrifice 
of the Cross and that of the altar. We reply to them that 
there are not two sacrifices, since, as we have already 
explained elsewhere, the sacrifice of the altar is a 
memorial of the sacrifice of the Cross; it is really the 

1 Lib. 2, c. 9, 2. 

Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 37 

same sacrifice as that of the Cross, Jesus Christ being 
there the principal offerer and the victim that is offered. 

Orate, fratrcs, etc. ("Brethren, pray, etc."). By these 
words the priest exhorts the people to supplicate the 
Lord to receive this sacrifice for the glory of his name 
and the good of the faithful. The server then answers 
in the name of the people by praying to God to accept 
this sacrifice: Suscipiat Dominus Sacrificium de manibus 
tuis, etc. (" May the Lord receive this sacrifice from thy 
hands, etc."). 

Then follows the Secret, a prayer that refers to the 
offerings made by the people, namely, of the bread and 
wine that are to be changed into the body and the blood 
of Jesus Christ. The Church asks the Lord to bless 
them and to render them profitable, not only to those 
who present them, but to all the faithful, just as may be 
seen in the Secret of the fifth Sunday after Pentecost: 
"Mercifully receive, O Lord, these offerings of thy ser 
vants ; that what each hath offered to the honor of thy 
name, may avail to the salvation of all." Thus the 
Offertory is concluded. 

Before passing to the Canon, the priest reads the Pref 
ace, in which he exhorts the faithful to raise their hearts 
to God: Sursum corda ("Lift up your hearts"). The 
people answer that they have already done so> Habemus 
ad Doininum (" We have lifted them to the Lord "), And 
the priest continues by inviting them to unite with him 
in thanking the Lord: Gratias agamus Domino Deo nostro 
(" Let us give thanks to our Lord God "). He after 
wards says that it is just and salutary to render thanks 
through Jesus Christ, who alone can worthily give 
thanks for the eternal salvation and for so many benefits 
granted to men and also to angels, who also give thanks 
to God through Jesus Christ for all the gifts that they 

1 " Domine, has oblationes benignus assume, ut, quod singuli obtu- 
lerunt, cunctis proficiat." 

38 Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 

have received. The priest entreats the Lord to accept 
our prayers united with those of the angels, who cele 
brate his glory by repeating without ceasing the can 
ticle, Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus Dens Sabaoth ! 1 
("Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts!"); and he 
concludes by repeating the words used by the Jewish 
people in their acclamations at the triumphant entry of 
Jesus into Jerusalem: Benedictus, qui venit in nomine 
Domini! Hosanna in eoccelsis / 2 ("Blessed is he that 
cometh in the name of the Lord ! Hosanna in the 

The Canon. 

Te igitur, clementissime Pater, etc. (" We therefore hum 
bly pray and beseech Thee, most merciful Father, etc."). 
Here begins what we call the Canon of the Mass, which 
the Council of Trent declares to be free from every 
error, 3 since it is composed of the very words of our 
Lord, of the traditions of the apostles, and of pious regu 
lations of the Holy See. 4 The Canon is very ancient: it 
was already in use in the fourth century, according to the 
testimony of St. Ambrose. 5 The priest first prays to his 
heavenly Father in the name of the whole Church, and 
through the merits of Jesus Christ, to accept and to bless 
the offerings that are made to him, and that are called 
gifts without spot: H&c dona, ha>c munera, hcec sancta sacri- 
ficia illibata ("These gifts, these presents, these holy un 
spotted sacrifices"). These words apply not only to the 
bread and the wine that have been offered, but refer by 

1 Isa. vi. 3. 2 Matt. xxi. 9. 

3 " Ab omni errore purum." 

" Is enim constat, cum ex ipsis Domini verbis, turn ex Apostolo- 
rum traditionibus, ac Sanctorum quoque Pontificum piis insiilutioni- 
bus." Sess. 22, c. 4. 

5 De Sacr. \. 4, c. 4. 

Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 39 

anticipation to the body and the blood of Jesus Christ, 
into which the bread and the wine are soon to be 
changed; hence they are called unspotted sacrifices. 
Innocent III. refers these last words to the purity of the 
heart and of the body with which the priest should cele 
brate Mass: "We call them by this name because of the 
purity of heart and of body with which the priest should 
offer them." But this is rather a spiritual and mystical 
reflection, the proper explanation is that which precedes 
it above. 

The Holy Sacrifice is, before all, offered for the 
Catholic Church by praying to God that he may pre 
serve her in peace, may defend her, maintain her in 
unity, and govern her through the ministry of the pas 
tors, by communicating to them his Holy Spirit. It 
must be observed that the prayers of the Church, during 
the Holy Sacrifice, should be addressed to God the 
Father, as was ordained by the Third Council of Carth 
age: " During the August Function the prayer should be 
addressed to God the Father." : It does not follow that 
the other divine Persons should be excluded from these 
prayers; but they are considered together in the Person 
of the Father, their first principle, and this is the reason 
why the Church is accustomed to pray to the Father, 
with the Son, in the Holy Ghost. 

At the first Memento, the priest recommends, at first, 
all those persons for whom he wishes most especially to 
pray; then he recommends all those who, happening to 
be present, offer with him the Holy Sacrifice; finally, he 
recommends all their relatives and friends. He says: 
i. Pro quibus tibi offcrimus, vel qui tibi offerunt (" For whom 
we offer, or who offer up to Thee"). It must be re 
marked that the disjunctive particle vel, "or," is some- 

1 " Illibata, quse sine macula cordis et corporis oportet offerri." 
De Alt. Myst. 1. 3, c. 3. 

f " Cum altari assistitur, semper ad Patrem dirigatur oratio." c. 23. 


4O Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 

times conjunctive, and that it is probable that it is here 
taken in this last sense according to St. Gregory, as we 
are told by Benedict XIV. Moreover, it must be ob 
served that there is a great difference between sacrificing 
and offering: to the priest alone belongs the right to 
sacrifice, whilst all those who are present may offer the 
sacrifice. 2. Quorum tibi fides cognita est, et nota devotio 
("Whose faith is known, and devotion apparent unto 
Thee"). By these words we are to understand that in 
order to participate in the fruit of the sacrifice we must 
have faith and devotion, which spring from charity. 
3. Pro rede.mptione animarum suarum (" For the redemption 
of their souls"). The first effect of the sacrifice of the 
Cross, which is applied to us by the sacrifice of the altar, 
is to become free from the power of the devil. 4. Pro 
spe salutis et incolumitatis suce (" For the hope of their 
safety and salvation"). These words comprise all the 
spiritual and temporal graces that God grants to us by 
virtue of this sacrifice, through which alone we can 
render to God the thanks that we owe him. 

Communicantes et memoriam venerantes, etc. (" Communi 
cating with the saints and honoring the memory, etc."). 
This prayer is said in order to enter into communion 
with the Church triumphant. Thereby we honor, in the 
first place, the memory of the Mother of God, then that 
of the apostles, then that of the martyrs and of all the 
other saints, through the merits and the intercession of 
whom we beg our Lord s protection in all our necessi 
ties. We who are travellers upon earth form only-one 
body with the saints who are in heaven, and united 
with them in the same spirit, we offer to God the same 
sacrifice. * 

Hanc igitur oblationem, etc. (" We therefore beseech 
Thee, O Lord, graciously to accept this oblation, etc."). 
The priest spreads his han^s^nvfr the bread and the 
wine, and, through the m^rarTTr Ctlpls Christ, who re- 

Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 4 1 

deemed us from the power of the devil, he prays to the 
Eternal Father favorably to accept this offering that his 
servants and his whole family make to him. He also 
asks God to help us to enjoy peace in this life, to pre 
serve us from hell, and to admit us among the number 
of the elect: Et in elector urn tuorum jubeas grege numerari 
("And number us in the flock of Thine elect"). Estius 
observes that by these last words we do not ask of God 
predestination, as if God could change his eternal de 
crees, but we ask of him the effects of predestination, 
that he may draw us to himself and conduct us to eter 
nal happiness. 1 In the Old Law lie who offered sacrifice 
placed his hands on the victim to signify that just as 
this animal was soon to lose its life by immolation, so 
he also offered up his own life to God. It is with the 
same spirit of sacrifice that every priest should offer 
himself to God, when he spreads his hands over the host 
and the chalice.* 

Quam oblationem tu, Deus in omnibus, qucesumus, bene- 
dtctam, adscriptam, ratam, rationabilem, acceptabilemque 
factre digneris ; ut nobis corpus et sanguis fiat dilectissimi 
Filii tui Domini uostri Jesu Christi (" Which obla 
tion do Thou, O God, vouchsafe in all respects to 
make blessed, approved, ratified, reasonable, and ac 
ceptable, that it may become to us the body and blood 
of Thy most beloved Son, Jesus Christ our Lord "). 
In this prayer the priest asks God to cause this oblation 
to be blessed (benedictaui), that by this blessing the bread 
and the wine may be changed into the body and the blood 

1 " Non petimus immutari aeternum Dei propositum, sed causam pro 
effectu ponimus, orantes ut Deus nos ad se convertat atque ad aeter- 
nam felicitatem perducat; qui sunt effectus praedestinationis." In 
Sent. 1. i, d. 40, 22. 

* Such should also be, in this grave ceremony, the sentiments of all 
the faithful, who, we should not forget, offer the holy sacrifice jointly 
with the priest. En. 

42 Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 

of Jesus Christ ; that it may be admitted (adseriptam), 
that is, substracted from all profane usage and wholly 
consecrated to the divine Majesty; ratified (ratam), that 
is, approved as a perfect sacrifice ; reasonable or rational 
(ratio nabtlem], this includes an allusion to a passage 
in the Epistle to the Romans, in which St. Paul says : " I 
beseech you . . . that you present your bodies a living 
sacrifice, holy, pleasing unto God, your reasonable 
service;" 1 acceptable (acceptabileni), that is, altogether 
agreeable and worthy of being received, differently from 
the victims and the oblations of the Hebrew people, 
which were not sufficient to appease the divine justice 
incensed against sinners ; and, finally, Ut nobis corpus 
et sanguis fiat dilectissimi Filii tui ("That it may become 
to us the body and blood of Thy most beloved Son" ). 
The priest, according to St. Thomas, does not thereby 
ask that the consecration, be accomplished, but that it 
be profitable to us. 2 

Qui^pridie quam pateretur, etc. ("Who the day before 
he suffered," etc.). Here the priest, renewing the mem 
ory of the Passion of Jesus Christ, relates what the 
Lord did on the evening before his death, when he in 
stituted the Sacrament and the sacrifice of his body and 
blood. Then the priest does the same thing, and con 
secrates by pronouncing the very words used by Jesus 
Christ, as St. Ambrose remarks: "He uses not his own 
words, but the very words of Jesus Christ." 3 

The form of the consecration is taken from St. 
Matthew : Hoc est corpus meum (" This is my body"). 4 
These words need no explanation, since they themselves 

" Exhibeatis corpora vestra hostiam viventem, sanctam, Deo 
placentem, rationabile obsequium vestrum." Rom. xii. I. 

2 " Non ut consecratio impleatur, sed ut nobis fiat fructuosa. " P. 
3, q. 83, a. 4. 

3 " Non suis sermonibus, sed utitur sermonibus Christi." De Sacr. 
1. 4, c. 4. 

4 Matt, xx vi. 26. 

Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 43 

declare what mystery is accomplished, namely, the 
change of the bread into the body of Jesus Christ. 

The form of the consecration of the chalice is as fol 
lows: Hie est enim calix Sanguinis mei, novi et ceterni Tes 
tamenti, mysteriittn fidei, qui pro vobis et pro multis effnndetur 
in remissionein peccatorum (" For this is the chalice of my 
blood of the new and eternal testament, the mystery of 
faith, which shall be shed for you, and for many, to the 
remission of sins"). These words the Church has taken 
from different texts of the Gospel, partly from St. Luke, 
partly from St. Matthew. St. Luke says: This is the 
chalice , the new testament in my blood, which shall be shed for 
you. 1 St. Matthew: For this is my blood of the new testament 
which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins? The word 
cetenri, "everlasting," is found in St. Paul: In the blood 
of the everlasting testament.* The other words, Mystery of 
faiih, the Roman catechism declares are taught by 
sacred tradition, which is the guardian of Catholic 
truths. This divine mystery is called Mystery of faith, 
not to exclude the reality of the blood of Jesus Christ, 
but to show that in it the faith shines forth in a wonder 
ful manner, and triumphs over all the difficulties that 
may be raised by human reason, since it is here, says 
Innocent III., 4 that we see one thing and believe another. 
We believe, he adds, that the form that we read in the 
Canon was received from Jesus Christ by the Apostles, 
and that they transmitted it to their successors. 5 The 

1 " Hie est calix novum Testamentum in Sanguine meo, qui pro 
vobis fundetur." Luke, xxii. 20. 

2 " Hie est enim Sanguis meus novi Testamenti, qui pro multis 
effundetur in remissionem peccatorum." Matt. xxvi. 28. 

3 " In sanguine Testamenti aeterni." Ileb. xiii. 20. 

4 " Quoniam aliud ibi cernitur, aliud creditur." De Alt. Myst. 1. 
4, c. 36. 

6 "Sane formam istam verborum ab ipso Christo accepcrunt Apos- 
toli, et ab ipsis Apostolis accepit Ecclesia." Ibid. c. 5. 

44 Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 

Roman catechism, 1 moreover, says, that the words of 
consecration should be thus understood: It is my blood 
that is contained in the chalice of the New Testament. 
This signifies that men receive no longer the figure of the 
blood of Jesus Christ, as was the case in the Old Law ; 
but they really receive the true blood of the New Testa 
ment. The words Provobis et pro multis (" For you and 
for many") are used to distinguish the virtue of the 
blood of Christ from its fruits; for the blood of our 
Saviour is of sufficient value to save all men, but its 
fruits are applicable only to a certain number and not to 
all, and this is their own fault. Or, as the theologians 
say, this precious blood is (in itself) sufficiently (suf- 
ficienter } able to save all men, but (on our part) effectu 
ally (efficaciter) it does not save all it saves only those 
who co-operate with grace. This is the explanation of 
St. Thomas, as quoted by Benedict XIV.* 

The consecration is followed by the elevation of the host 
and of the chalice: this is done, writes Sassi, in order to 
prove the truth of the Eucharist which was attacked by 
Berengarius at the beginning of the twelfth century. The 
same truth is again professed at the second elevation 
shortly before the Pater noster, when the priest says, Omnis 
honor et gloria (" All honor and glory"). It was also at the 
time of the heresy of Berengarius that the custom was 
introduced of ringing the bell at the elevation of the 
Host and of the chalice. 

1 P. 2, c. 4, q. 20. 

* De Miss. Sacr. 1. 2, c. 15. Benedict XIV. here observes that 
St. Thomas (P. 3, q. 18, a. 3) seems to favor the opinion of those 
who make the essential form of the consecration of the chalice con 
sist in all the words that the priest pronounces as far as Hac quoties- 
cumque; because the words that follow, Hie est enini calix sanguinis 
mei, are determinationes pradicati, that is to say, sanguinis Christi, 
and consequently, belonging ad integritatem ejusdeni locutionis, are 
de substantia forma. St, Pius V. caused the contrary opinion to be 
erased from the commentary of Cajetan. 

Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 45 

H<zc quotiesc unique feceritis, inmei memoriam facietis ("As 
often as ye do these things, ye shall do them in remem 
brance of me"). After the two consecrations the priest 
repeats the words of Jesus Christ, by which our Saviour 
commanded his Apostles and their successors to do, in 
memory of his Passion, what he had just done himself in 
their presence. 

Undeet memores.Domine, etc. (" Wherefore, O Lord, . . . 
calling to mind," etc.). Here the priest calls to rnind 
the Passion of our Lord, his resurrection, and ascension. 
He offers to the divine majesty in the name of the 
Church the consecrated victim, which he calls a pure 
Host, exempt from every sin; holy, being united with 
the divinity in the person of the Word; immaculate, with 
out any stain; and then, "The holy bread of eternal life, 
and the chalice of everlasting salvation." While pro 
nouncing these words he blesses the bread and the 
chalice with the sign of the cross. On this subject 
Luther turns to ridicule the Roman Church by asking 
how the priest blesses Jesus Christ how the creature 
blesses the Creator. We answer here that the priest 
blesses the Host, not by his own authority, nor in his 
own name, but in the name and by the authority of the 
Eternal Father, who alone can bless Jesus Christ as 
man and as victim. Such is the answer given on this 
point by Innocent III. St. Thomas answers differently 
by saying that after the consecration the priest does 
not make the sign of the cross to bless, but only to re 
mind us of the power of the cross and of the death of our 
Lord. 1 

Supra qucB propitio, etc. (" Upon which vouchsafe to 
look," etc.). The priest then prays to the Lord that he 

1 " Sacerdos, post consecrationem, non utitur crucesignatione ad 
benedicendum et consecrandum, sed solum ad commemorandum vir- 
tutem crucis et modum passionis Christi. quae ad crucem est termi- 
nata." P. 3, q. 83, a. 5. 

46 Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 

may accept with pleasure this sacrifice, just as he ac 
cepted the offerings of Abel, the sacrifice of Abraham, 
and that of Melchisedech. In recalling to mind the sacra- 
fice of Abel, of Abraham, and of Melchisedech, we regard 
less the value of the things offered than the sanctity of 
those who offered them, because they were holy men. Con- 
quently, if God, because of his sanctity, favorably re 
ceived their sacrifice, how much more should please him 
the sacrifice of the Saint of saints of our Lord Jesus 
Christ ! But the most decisive reason on account of which 
the Church makes special mention of these three sacrifices 
is, because they represented in an excellent manner the 
sacrifice of Jesus Christ. 

Supplices te rogamus, etc. ("We most humbly beseech 
Thee," etc.). The priest continues humbly to ask the 
Saviour that the consecrated Host be presented to his 
divine Majesty through the hands of his holy Angel, in 
order that all those who are going to receive the body 
and the blood of his adorable Son may be filled with 
blessings and all celestial gifts through the merits of 
Jesus Christ. By the Angel of whom mention is made 
in this prayer, we may understand the Angel who pre 
sides at the Sacrifice of the Altar, or, as our French author 
says, we may understand Jesus Christ himself, who is pre 
eminently the Holy Angel, called in Scripture the Angel 
of the Great Counsel. But the explanation of St. 
Thomas seems to be the most natural. The priest, he 
says, speaks for the Church, and asks that the Angel 
who presides at the divine mysteries may present to God 
the prayers of the celebrant and of the people. 1 

Memento etiam, Domine, etc. (" Be mindful, O Lord," 
etc.). The priest asks the Lord to remember his ser 
vants who have passed to the other life and are slumber- 

1 " Sacerdos petit hoc pro corpora mystico, ut scilicet orationes 
Sacerdotis et populi Angelas assistens divinis mysteriis Deo reprae- 
sentet." P. 3, q. 83. a. 4. 

Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass, 47 

ing in the sleep of peace, and to grant them a place of 
refreshment, light, and peace, through the merits of 
Jesus Christ. When the charity of the souls that depart 
from this life is not sufficient to purify them, the fire of 
purgatory will supply this defect. Yet the charity of the 
Saviour supplies it best by means of the Eucharistic 
sacrifice, which procures for these holy souls great miti 
gation of their sufferings, and often deliverance from 
their torments. The Council of Trent says: "The souls 
there detained are helped by the suffrages of the faithful, 
but principally by the acceptable sacrifice of the altar." * 
And it adds 2 that this is a tradition of the Apostles. St. 
Augustine exhorts us to offer the sacrifice for all the 
dead, in case the souls that we recommend cannot re 
ceive our help. 

Nobis quoque peecatoribus, etc. (" And to us sinners," 
etc.). Here the Church prays for sinners, in order that 
God may vouchsafe, in his mercy, to permit them to 
enter the society of the saints ; and she asks this grace 
through the merits of Jesus Christ. She then adds : 

Per quern hcec omnia semper bona creas, etc. (" By whom, 
O Lord, Thou dost always create," etc.). By the Word 
Thou hast created this bread and wine, and now, by the 
same Word, Thou hast sanctified {sanctificas} them by 
reserving them for the sacrifice. Thou hast quickened 
them (vivificas] by changing them into the body and the 
blood of Jesus Christ; Thou hast blessed (benedicts) them 
and transformed them into a source of benediction for 
the Church of Christ; and, finally, Thou hast given us all 
these good things (et prcestas nobis) by distributing them 
to the faithful in Holy Communion. And all these 
favors the Church asks through the merits of Jesus 
Christ: Per ipsum, that is, through him; cum ipso, in 

J : Animas ibi detentas, fidelium suffragiis, potissimum vero ac- 
ceptabili altaris Sacrificio juvari." Sess. 25, Deer, de Purg. 
2 Sess. 22, "c. 2. 

48 Short Explanation of the Prayer s of Mass. 

union with our Saviour; in ipso, in him as the members 
are in the body, since God recognizes as his own only 
those who are united with Jesus Christ. 


Oremus. Prceceptis salutaribus moniti, etc. (" Instructed 
by Thy saving precepts, etc."). The Church militant 
regards herself as entirely composed of sinners ; she 
thinks herself unworthy to call God her Father, and to 
address to him the seven petitions, which in the name of 
the faithful she is going to address to him by reciting 
the Pater noster,("Qur Father"). Hence she protests 
that she only dares to address to God this prayer 
because God himself has commanded her to do so. She 
then teaches us that we may venture to present to God 
the seven petitions which contain the whole economy of 
our salvation, because it is pleasing to him and he him 
self gives us the command. We are so miserable, and 
our mind is so limited, that we do not even know what 
graces we should ask of God in behalf of our own sal 
vation. Regarding our poverty and our insufficiency, 
Jesus Christ himself deigned to compose our prayer or 
to indicate the subjects on which we should address 
Almighty God. He instructs us to say : 

Pater noster, qui es in coelis (" Our Father, who art in 
heaven, etc.). The Apostle St. John says: Behold what 
manner of charity the Father hath bestowed upon us that we 
should be called, and should be the sons of God. 1 It is as 
suredly only by the effect of extreme love that we worms 
of the earth have been enabled to become the children of 
God, not by nature, but by adoption; and such is the 
immense grace that the Son of God has obtained for us 
by becoming man; for St. Paul says: You have received the 

1 " Videte qualem charitatem dedit nobis Pater, ut Filii Dei nomi- 
nemur et simus." I John, iii. i. 

Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 49 

spirit of adoption of sons, whereby we cry, Abba (Father] 
Can a subject wish for greater happiness than to be 
adopted by his king? or a creature to be adopted by its 
Creator? This is what God has done for us; and he 
wishes that we should address to him with filial confi 
dence the following prayer : 

1. Sanctificetur nomem tuum (" Hallowed be Thy name"). 
God cannot possess a greater sanctity than that which 
he possesses from all eternity, because he is infinite; 
hence what we ask in this prayer is merely that God 
may make known in every place his holy name, and 
that he may make himself loved by all men: by unbe 
lievers, who know him not; by heretics, who do not know 
him in the right manner; and by sinners, who know him 
but do not love him. 

2. Adveniat regnum tuum (" Thy kingdom come"). Two 
kinds of dominion God exercises over our souls the do 
minion of grace and the dominion of glory. By these 
words we ask for both, namely, that the grace of God 
may reign among us in this life, that it may direct and 
govern us, so that one day we may be judged worthy of 
glory, and may have the happiness to possess God and 
be possessed by him for all eternity. 

3. Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in ccelo, et in terra (" Thy will 
be done on earth, as it is in heaven"). The whole perfec 
tion of a soul consists in the perfect accomplishment of 
the will of God, as is done by the blessed in heaven. 
Hence Jesus Christ wishes us to ask the grace to ac 
complish the will of God upon earth, as the angels and 
saints accomplish it in heaven. 

4. Panem nostrum quoiidianum da nobis hodie (" Give us this 
day our daily bread"). Such is the text as we find it in 
St. Luke. 2 By this prayer we ask God for the temporal 

1 " Accepistis Spiritum adoptionis, in quo clamaraus : Abba (Pater)." 
Rom. viii. 15. 

2 Luke, xi. 3. 


5<D Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 

goods of which we stand in need to sustain our present 
life. The words " Our daily bread " teach us that we 
should ask for this kind of goods with moderation, after 
the example of Solomon, who asked only what was neces 
sary: Give me only the necessaries of life. 1 It is to be re 
marked that in the Gospel of St. Matthew, instead of the 
daily bread, we read, Give us this day our supersubstantial* 
bread* By this supersubstantial bread we must un 
derstand, according to the explanation given by the 
Roman catechism, Jesus Christ himself in the Sacra 
ment of the Altar, that is, in Holy Communion. We ask 
this heavenly bread every day, Give us this day, because 
every good Christian should communicate every day, 
if not really at least spiritually, as we are exhorted by 
the Council of Trent. 

5. Et dimitte nobis debita nostra, sicut et nos dimittimus 
debitoribus nostris ("And forgive us our trespasses, as we 
forgive them that trespass against us"). To eat worthily 
of this heavenly bread, we must be free from mortal sin, 
or at least be washed of it by the blood of the Lamb in 
the sacrament of penance. We say, free from mortal sin; 
but it must be observed that if anyone should communi 
cate with an actual affection for some venial sin, he could 
not be said to communicate without offering some indig 
nity to our Lord at least if he communicates often. 

6. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem (" And lead us not 
into temptation"). How are these words to be under- 

1 " Tribue tantum victui meo necessaria." Prov. xxx. 8. 

2 "Supersubstantialem." Matt. vi. n. 

* These two expressions are not opposed to each other; on the 
contrary, one explains the other. We ask, in the one as in the other, 
what is each day necessary for the subsistence of the body and of the 
soul; but we chiefly ask for spiritual nourishment, and, above every 
thing else, for the Holy Eucharist, which is pre-eminently and beyond 
co "nparison called the bread of life and the true bread of the children 
of God Panis vita, vere Pants filiorum. ED. 

Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 5 1 

stood ? Does God sometimes tempt us does he lead us 
into temptation? No; for St. James says: God is not a 
tempter of evils, and He tempteth no man. 1 This text we 
must understand as we do that of Isaias: Blind the heart 
of this people . . . lest they see? God never blinds any 
sinner, but he often refuses to grant to some, in punish 
ment for their ingratitude, the light that he would have 
given them had they remained faithful and grateful. 
Hence when it is said that God makes any one blind, it 
is meant that he withholds the light of his grace. This, 
therefore is the sense of the prayer, and lead us not into 
temptation; we ask God not to permit us to have the mis 
fortune of being in those occasions of sin in which we 
might fall. Hence we should always watch and pray 
as the Lord exhorts us to do, in order not to fall into, 
temptation : WatcJi ye, and pray that ye enter not into tempta 
tion? To enter into temptation means the same as to 
find one s self in the danger of falling into sin; we should 
therefore often say to God, Lord, lead us not into tempta 

7. Sed libera nos a malo (" But deliver us from evil "). 
There are three kinds of evils from which we should ask 
the Lord to deliver us the temporal evils of the body, 
the spiritual evils of the soul, and the eternal evils of the 
next life. As for the temporal evils of this life, we ought 
always to be disposed to receive with resignation those 
that God sends us for the good of our souls, such as 
poverty, sickness, and desolation; and when we ask God 
to deliver us from temporal evils we should always do 
so on condition that they are not necessary nor useful 
for our salvation. But the true evils from which we 

1 " Deus enim intentator malorum est; ipse autem neminem ten- 
tat." James, \. 13. 

4 " Excseca cor populi hujus . . . ne forte videat." Tsa. vi. 10. 

3 "Vigilate et orate, ut non intretis in tentationem," Matt. xxvi. 

5 2 Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 

should absolutely pray to be delivered are spiritual evils, 
sins, which are the cause of eternal evils. Moreover, let 
us be convinced of this infallible truth, that in the present 
state of corrupt nature we cannot be saved unless we 
pass through the many tribulations with which this life 
is filled: Through many tribulations we must enter into the 
kingdom of God. 1 

The priest finishes the Lord s prayer with the word 
Amen, which he pronounces in a low voice, because he 
represents the person of Jesus Christ, who is the founda 
tion of all the divine promises.* This word is a summary 
of all the petitions that have been made petitions the re 
petition of which pleases the Lord, for the more we pray 
to God the more he will hear our prayers. The great 
people of this world are not pleased when they are im 
portuned by petitions; but this importunity is pleasing 
to God, says St. Jerome. 2 Cornelius a Lapide even as 
sures us that God wishes that we should persevere in 
this importunity in our prayers. 3 

From the Prayer " Libera nos" till the Communion. 

Immediately after the Pater noster the priest recites 
the prayer Libera nos, qucesumus, Domine (" Deliver us, O 
Lord"), by which he asks the Lord for himself and for 
all the faithful to grant, through the intercession of the 
Blessed Virgin, of the apostles and of all the saints, a 
continual peace during the days of the present life, so 

1 " Per multas tribulationes oportet nos intrare in regnum Dei." 
Acts, xiv. 21. 

2 " Oratio, quamvis importuna, plus arnica est." Horn, in Matt. 

3 " Vult Deus nos in oratione esse perseverantes usque ad impor- 
tunitatem." In Luc. xi. 8. 

* This signifies that the divine Mediator gives support to our 
prayer and renders it efficacious. ED. 

Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 53 

that his divine mercy may preserve them from every sin 
and from all confusion. 

He then says, Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum (" May 
the peace of the Lord be always with you"). He wishes 
the peace of the Lord for all his brethren, who answer 
him with the same wish: Et cum spiritu tno ("And with 
thy spirit"). He makes at the same time upon the chalice, 
with the particle of the Host which he holds in his hand, 
three signsof the cross, which indicates, according to St. 
Thomas, 1 the three days that Jesus Christ spent in the 

The priest then drops the sacred particle into the 
chalice and says these words: H<zc commixtio et consccratio 
Corporis et Sanguinis Domini nostri Jesit Christi fiat accipi- 
entibus nobis in vitam ceternam! (" May this mixture and con 
secration of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ 
be to us that receive it effectual to eternal life"). Ex 
plaining these words, Consccratio . . . fiat, Bellarmin says 
that we do not here ask that the consecration should 
take place, but that it be profitable for eternal life to 
those who are about to receive Jesus Christ in Holy Com 
munion. 2 This mixture of the holy species represents 
the union of the divinity with the humanity which was at 
first effected in the womb of Mary through the Incarna 
tion of the Word, and which is renewed in the souls of 
the faithful when they receive him in the Eucharistic 

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi (" Lamb of God, who 
takest away the sins of the world"). Before Communion 
the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, as the victim of the sac 
rifice, is invoked, and is invoked three times, to point out 

1 P. 3, q. 83, a. 5. 

2 " Non enim petimus ut nunc fiat Consecratio, sed ut Consecratio, 
antea facta, sit nobis ad vitam aeternam salutaris." De Miss. 1. 2, c. 

54 Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 

the need that we have of his grace, in order to be recon 
ciled with God and to receive his peace. 

Here follow the three prayers that precede Commun 

In the first prayer Domine Jesu Christe, qui dixisti 
Apostolis tuis, Pacem relinquo iwbis (" Lord Jesus Christ, 
who said to Thy Apostles, I leave you peace") prayer 
is offered to God that he may vouchsafe to grant peace 
to the Church in consideration of her faith, and keep her 
in union, according to his will, by delivering her from the 
division produced by false doctrines, and from all that is 
contrary to the divine will. And here the Church has in 
troduced the custom that the" faithful should give one an 
other the kiss of peace, to remind them that their hearts 
should be united in charity. Before giving the kiss of 
peace, the priest kisses the altar, to show that he cannot 
give the peace unless he has first received it from Jesus 
Christ, who is represented by the altar. 

In the second prayer, Domine Jesu Christe, Fili Dei 
vivi, the priest asks Jesus Christ, by virtue of his ador 
able body and blood, to deliver him from all evils, and to 
keep him always united with him. 

In the third prayer he beseeches the Lord that this 
Communion may not turn to his condemnation, but may 
be for the salvation of his soul and body. The Holy 
Eucharist protects the soul against temptations and pas 
sions; it extinguishes the fire of concupiscence that burns 
in our bodies, and is a powerful remedy against the death 
of the soul. 

After these prayers the priest says, while invoking the 
name of the Lord, Panem ccelestem accipiam, et nomen 
Domini invocabo (" I will take the bread of heaven, and 
call upon the name of our Lord"). In order that the 
earthly food may be of benefit to us, we must eat it when 
we are hungry; in like manner, in order that Communion 
may produce in us much fruit, we should receive it with 

Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 55 

great desire to possess Jesus Christ and to love him ar 
dently. As John Gerson says, we ought, at the moment 
in which we are about to receive Jesus, invoke him anew, 
in order to obtain the grace to receive him with great 
profit to our souls. 

Corpus (Sanguis) Domini nostri Jesu Christi custodiat ani- 
mam meam in vitam ceternam (" May the Body (Blood) of 
our Lord Jesus Christ preserve my soul to life everlast 
ing"). While pronouncing these words the priest re 
ceives the body and the blood of Jesus Christ. This 
prayer recalls to our mind that this precious body and 
blood are given to us as a pledge of eternal life, and as a 
viaticum in order to pass from this exile to our heavenly 
country. Hence when we receive Communion we ought 
to be so disposed as if we had to leave the earth at once, 
to enter eternity. 


Quid retribuam Domino pro omnibus quce retribuit mihi ? 
(" What shall I render to the Lord for all he hath rendered 
unto me ?") The priest says, For all, etc., because he who 
receives Jesus Christ in Communion receives all the 
gifts and all the goods that one can desire, according to 
the words of St. Paul: How hath He not also, with Him, 
given us all things. 1 He says, What shall I render? be 
cause man is not capable of thanking God as he should 
thank him. Jesus Christ only can worthily thank the 
Eternal Father for the gifts that he bestowed upon men. 
The priest therefore adds: Calif em salutaris accipiam, et 
nomen Domini invocabo (" I will take the chalice of salva 
tion, and call upon the name of the Lord"). He suppli- 

1 " Quomodo non etiam cum illo omnia nobis donavit ?" Rom. viii. 

56 Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 

cates the Divine Redeemer to thank the heavenly Father 
for himself and for all men. 

After having taken the precious blood he renews his 
thanks to God in the following words: Quod ore sumpsi- 
mus, Domine, pur a mente capiamus, et de munere tempor all fiat 
nobis remedium sempiternum ("Grant, O Lord, that what 
we have taken with our mouth we may receive with a 
pure mind, that of a temporal gift it may become to us an 
eternal remedy"). By this prayer the Church makes us 
ask God that, as our mouth has received this divine 
food and drink, our hearts may also receive them, so that 
they may be for us an eternal remedy that may forever 
heal us of all our infirmities. 

Finally the priest says, Corpus tuum, Domine, quod 
sumpsi, et Sanguts quern potavi, adhcereat visceribus meis 
(" May Thy body, O Lord, which I have received, and 
the blood which I have drunk, cleave to my bowels"). In 
this prayer, and in the last prayer called Post-commun 
ion, he asks, through the merits of Jesus Christ in this 
mystery, and through the intercession of the saint whose 
memory is celebrated, that this divine Saviour may al 
ways preserve him in this intimate union with him, and 
that no stain may rest on his soul, which has been 
nourished by a sacrament so holy and so pure. 

Ite, Missa est (" Go, the Mass is ended"); or, Benedica- 
mus Domino ("Let us bless the Lord"). It is with these 
words that the priest dismisses the people, just as if he 
said, The Sacrifice is accomplished; and those who are 
present while thanking God by the mouth of the ser 
ver, say, Deo Gratias ("Thanks be to God"). "To give 
thanks to God," says St. Augustine, " is to acknowledge 
that all good things come from God, and to thank him 
for them." 

The priest afterwards passes to the right side of the 

1 " Deo gratias agere, est sentire omnia bona a Deo data esse, ^t 
pro ipsis Deum laudare." 

Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 5 7 

altar, and recites the Gospel of St. John: In principio erat 
Verbum (" In the beginning was the Word"). William de 
Bury says that it was St. Pius V. who ordained that this 
Gospel should always be recited at the end of Mass; as 
formerly some said it, and others omitted it. 

This explanation of the prayers of Mass may be ser 
viceable to all to the faithful as well as to priests. 


In order to hear Mass with devotion, it is necessary to 
know that the sacrifice of the altar is the same as that 
which was once offered on Calvary, with this difference, 
that on Calvary the blood of Jesus Christ was really 
shed, but on the altar it is shed only in a mystical man 
ner. Had you been present on Calvary, with what 
devotion and tenderness would you have attended that 
great sacrifice! Enliven your faith, then, and consider 
that the same action is performed on the altar, and that 
the same sacrifice is offered not only by the priest, but 
also by all who attend Mass. Thus, all perform, in a 
certain manner, the office of priests during the celebra 
tion of the Mass, in which the merits of the Passion of 
our Saviour are applied to us in a particular manner. 

It is, moreover, necessary to know that the sacrifice of 
the Mass has been instituted for four ends. T. To 
honor God. 2. To satisfy for our sins. 3. To thank 
God for his benefits. 4. To obtain the divine graces. 
Thence arise the following considerations which may aid 
us to hear Mass with great fruit : 

1. By the oblation of the person of Jesus Christ, God 
and man, to the Eternal Father, we give to God infinite 
honor ; we give him greater honor than he would receive 
from the oblation of the lives of all men and all angels. 

2. By the oblation of Jesus Christ in the Mass, we 
offer to God a complete satisfaction for all the sins of 
men, and especially for the sins of those who are present 
at Mass ; to whom is applied the same divine blood, by 

* We add this paragraph that it may serve as a practical conclusion. 
It is taken from the "True Spouse of Christ," chap. 24, 4. 

Hearing Mass.- 59 

which the human race was redeemed on Calvary. Thus, 
by each Mass more satisfaction is made to God than by 
any other expiatory work. But although the Mass is of 
infinite value, God accepts it only in a finite manner, 
according to the dispositions of those who attend the 
holy sacrifice, and, therefore, it is useful to hear several 

3. In the Mass we render to God an adequate thanks 
giving for all the benefits that he has bestowed upon us. 

4. During the Mass we can obtain all the graces that 
we desire for ourselves and for others. We are un 
worthy of receiving any grace from God, but Jesus 
Christ has given us the means of obtaining all graces, 
if, while we offer him to God in the Mass, we ask them 
of the Eternal Father in his name, for then Jesus him 
self unites with us in prayer. If you knew that while 
you pray to the Lord, the divine Mother, along with the 
whole of paradise, united with you, with what confidence 
would you pray ? Now when you ask of God any grace 
during the Mass, Jesus (whose prayers are more effica 
cious than the prayers of all who are in heaven) prays 
for you, and offers in your behalf the merits of his 

You will do well, then, to divide the Mass into four 
parts, as follows : 

1. From the Beginning to the Gospel. 

Offer the sacrifice of the Mass to honor God, saying : 

My God, I adore Thy majesty. I would wisli to honor 

Thee as much as Thou deservest ; but what honor can 

I, a miserable sinner, give Thee ? I offer Thee the honor 

which Jesus renders to Thee on this altar. 

2. From the Gospel to the Elevation. 

Offer the sacrifice in satisfaction for your sins, saying: 
Lord, I detest above every evil all the offences that I 

60 Hearing Mass. 

have given Thee : I am sorry for them above all things, 
and in satisfaction for them I offer Thy Son, who sacri 
fices himself again for us on this altar, and through his 
merits I pray Thee to pardon me, and to give me holy 

3. From the Elevation to the Communion. 

Offer Jesus to the Eternal Father in thanksgiving for 
all the graces that he has bestowed upon you, saying : 

Lord, I am unable to thank Thee ; I offer Thee the 
blood of Jesus Christ in this Mass, and in all the Masses 
that are at this moment celebrated throughout the 

4. From the Communion to tlie End. 

You will ask with confidence the graces that you need, 
and particularly sorrow for your sins, the gift of perse 
verance, and of the divine love ; and you will recom 
mend to God, in a special manner, the persons with 
whom you live, your relatives, poor sinners, and the 
souls in purgatory. I do not find it amiss if you 
recite vocal prayers during Mass,* but I desire that you 
should not fail at the same time to fulfil the four duties 
to God that I have pointed out to you ; namely, honor, 
expiation, thanksgiving, and prayer. I desire you to 
hear as many Masses as possible. Every Mass heard in 
this manner will obtain for you a treasure of merits. 

* See Vol. I., A Christian s Rule of Life, chap. 2, 4. 

Jpious Qfoercise to aqtrire ttyc proper ^Disposition tor 
making a 9000 (Confession.* 


To prepare ourselves well for confession, \ve should retire 
from every external source of distraction, go either to a church 
or an oratory, place ourselves in the presence of God, and make 
the following act : 

Act of Adoration 

Supreme and adorable Majesty, God of heaven and 
earth, I firmly believe that Thou art present, and that 
Thou seest me and knowesj; the dispositions of my 
heart. I adore Thee and render Thee my humble hom 
age, acknowledging Thee for my God, my Creator, and 
my Sovereign Redeemer. In testimony of this my faith, 
I prostrate my soul and body before the throne of Thy 
Infinite Majesty, and offer Thee the adoration which 
is due to Thee alone. 

* We find this exercise, with that which is mentioned at the end of 
the Novena to the Holy Ghost, in an old edition of the Reflections 
and Affections on the Passion (Operette spir., p. 2. Napoli, 1769). 
The act which concludes it the Offering of the Mass shows that it 
here finds a suitable place in connection with the Holy Sacrifice, as it 
does elsewhere in connection with Holy Communion. There are 
other shorter Acts for Confession in the Christian s Rule of Life, chap. 
ii. 3. On the advantages of frequent confession, and the manner 
how to approach worthily this sacrament, see True Spouse of Christ, 
chap, xviii. i, and Instructions on the Commandments and the 
Sacraments, part ii. chap. 5. ED. 

62 Pious Exercise for Confession. 

Examination of Conscience. 

We ought to represent confession to ourselves as the last one 
of our life, and dispose ourselves to make it as one would do 
who is at the point of death. We should ask God for the grace 
to make well the examination of conscience, and for the neces 
sary light to know well our sins. Hence let us recite the Vent 
Creator Spiritns. 

O Father of lights ! who enlightenest every man that 
comes into the world, send into my heart a ray of light, 
of love, and of sorrow, that I may know, detest, and 
confess the sins which I have committed against Thee. 

Prayer before the Examination of Conscience. 

Mother of my God, who art so charitable to sinners 
that desire to repent, assist me by thy intercession. My 
guardian angel, who hast been a spectator of all my 
crimes, help me to discover the sins which I have com 
mitted against my God. All ye saints of heaven, pray 
for me, that I may bring forth fruits of penance. Amen. 

Offering of the Examination. 

Jesus, my God and Saviour, I offer Thee the examina 
tion which I am going to make, that Thy divine justice 
may be glorified in it. I look to Thee with confidence 
for the grace to do it well. Thus, therefore, in the 
spirit of charity, in order to please Thee, and to accom 
plish Thy holy will, together with every intention that 
can procure Thee the greatest honor and glory, I under 
take it. 

Here the penitent must begin the examination of his con 
science. But it must be observed by persons of a timorous dis 
position, who often approach the sacraments, that their exami 
nation ought to be short and unaccompanied with disquietude 
and scrupulosity. It is sufficient for persons of this description 
to take a momentary view of the faults into which they are ac- 

Pious Exercise for Confession. 63 

customed to fall, and then principally to apply themselves to 
acts of devotion and contrition, which are always the most es 
sential dispositions for this sacrament, and from which they 
may easily suffer their minds to be diverted by yielding to 
fears and anxiety. As for those who seldom approach the 
sacrament, it is their duty to employ sufficient time to make a 
diligent examination of their consciences, and to call to mind 
as nearly as possible, by reading over leisurely and attentively 
the commandments of God and of the Church, together 
with the seven capital sins, the duties of their state of life 
and see in what they have failed in thought, word, or deed. If 
they cannot call to mind the precise number of their sins, they 
must consider how often in the day or week they have sinned in 
each particular kind, and their confession of them in this man 
ner will satisfy the divine justice, which never obliges us to do 
what is morally impossible. 

We should take care to examine ourselves especially about 
the fault to which we are inclined, and about the means that we 
should adopt to amend ourselves. 

Motives of Contrition. 

The Greatness and Sanctity of God. 

Reflect, that sin, however trifling it may be, greatly offends 
Almighty God, and is an insult to the infinite perfections of 
him whose greatness knows no limits, and who is consequently 
deserving of infinite love. By sin you displease one who loves 
you most tenderly. Oh ! reflect well on this, and you will dis 
cover how base, how cruel, how unreasonable it is to offend 
him. But, alas ! we shall never, during this life, be able fully 
to comprehend the entire malice even of a venial sin, or know 
what punishment he deserves who commits it. 

An Act of Contrition. 

O my infinitely amiable God ! I acknowledge that my 
sins are multiplied beyond the number of the hairs of 
my head, or the grains of sand on the sea-shore. But, if 

64 Pious Exercise for Confession. 

I had committed only one, in committing it I have of 
fended Thy infinite perfections. Oh ! why then is not 
my heart penetrated with infinite grief and regret ? I 
have sinned against Thy goodness, which I ought ever 
to have loved. I have preferred a vile creature, a petty 
honor, a miserable pleasure, some vain interest, to Thy 
sovereign majesty, which I ought to have adored, served, 
and honored. Ah ! my God, pardon my sins. O infi 
nite beauty, infinite goodness ! how could I have the au 
dacity to insult and despise Thee ? But I now heartily 
repent of my ingratitude and disloyalty ; I wish sincere 
ly that I had never offended Thee, and resolve never to 
offend Thee again. Yes, I had rather sacrifice all that 
I possess, and forfeit my honor and my life, than ever 
more offend so good a God. 


The Benefits of God. 

Reflect that God is our sovereign benefactor, who has be 
stowed upon us innumerable benefits, both general and particu 
lar. He has drawn us out of nothing, and formed us to his 
own image and likeness, without having any need at all of us : 
we are continually dependent upon him for our preservation. 
He has redeemed us with the price of the blood of his Son ; he 
has made us Christians in preference to thousands of others 
whom he has left in the darkness of infidelity; he has borne with 
us in our sins until the present time ; he has given us many and 
easy means of saving our souls ; and still we repay all his mer 
cies with ingratitude. He has created all creatures for our 
benefit, and the only use which we make of them is to offend 

An Act of Contrition. 

Oh ! how great has been my ingratitude ! there is, 
there can be, none equal to it. O my amiable Saviour! 
is this the recompense that I have made Thee, for hav- 

Pious Exercise for Confession. 65 

ing drawn me out of the abyss of nothing, in which I 
should still be, were it not for Thee? is this the value 
that I set upon the precious blood of Thy veins spilt 
with so much pain and so much love for me ? Ungrate 
ful creature that I am ! who will give sighs to my heart 
and tears to my eyes, that I may bewail, as I ought, the 
insults which I have offered to my God, my sovereign 
benefactor? O God of goodness ! have mercy on me. I 
greatly desire, and firmly resolve, never to offend Thee 
more. Ah ! why was I born to receive so many benefits 
from my God, and still to offend him so often and so 
grievously as I have done? How could I employ in of 
fending him the hands, the feet, the tongue, the ears, the 
heart which he gave me to use in his service ? O un 
happy eyes! O criminal hands! O unfaithful heart! 
you, by your sins, have been the cause of the pains, the 
torments, and the cruel death which the Son of God 
suffered upon the cross. 


The Presence of God. 

Reflect that the Most Blessed Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy 
Ghost, the only and almighty God, is everywhere present, that 
he sees all things, knows all things, and penetrates the inmost 
and most secret thoughts of our heart. He is that divine and 
infinite Majesty before whom the highest seraphim tremble with 
a holy fear, and veil their faces through respect ; and we have 
the audacity to sin in his presence ; to say, to do, and to think 
what, if known, would cover us with confusion before the mean 
est of men. Reflect, moreover, that this God, before whom we 
sin, is our sovereign Judge, who at the moment of our death 
will inevitably pass sentence upon the thoughts, the words, 
the actions, of which we may be found guilty. 

An Act of Contrition. 

Supreme and just Judge of the living and the dead, 
Thou who seest and knowest all things, even those very 

66 Pio2is Exercise for Confession. 

secrets that pass in the interior of my heart, and which 
1 would not have known to any creature upon earth, is 
it possible that I should dare to appear in Thy presence, 
after having been so unfaithful to Thee ? Alas ! I can 
not fly from Thee, because Thou art present everywhere: 
I cannot hide myself from Thy view, because Thou seest 
all things. Ah ! has not my insolence been insupport 
able in having dared, in the presence of Thy exalted 
majesty, before whom the purest angels cover their 
faces, to do what I would not have done before the 
meanest and the last of men ? O my God ! have mercy 
on me: I detest, with my whole heart, all my sins for the 
love of Thee. 

Another Act of Contrition. 

O my God ! I am covered with shame and confusion, 
when I reflect that I have lived in Thy presence with so 
little regard and respect, and that I have so often broken 
the protestations that I have made never to offend Thee 
more. O God ! if I had made so many promises to any 
creature upon earth, how much should I feel ashamed at 
having broken my word ! But, where Thou art con 
cerned, I pay little regard to my resolutions, since I 
daily insult Thee before Thy eyes. Oh ! how great is 
Thy goodness in having borne with me so long! O 
God of my heart ! since Thou hast dealt mercifully with 
me in the course of my most heinous crimes, do not 
withdraw Thy mercy, now that I repent of all my dis 

Offering of the Holy Mass to obtain Remission of Sins. 

Heavenly Father, Father of mercy and God of con 
solation, who does comfort us in all our pains, accept, 
I beseech Thee, this sacrifice of the body and blood of 
Thy only Son, which I offer Thee to-day in union with the 
Church militant and the Church triumphant, in memory 

Pioiis Exercise for Confession. 67 

of the Passion, the resurrection, and the ascension of my 
Saviour, and in honor of the Blessed Virgin and of ail 
the heavenly court, in order to satisfy for my sins and 
those of all men. Behold, O my God, on this altar Thy 
well-beloved Son, the one object of Thy complacency; 
listen to the voice of his wounds; consider the precious 
tears which from his cross he shed, whilst he prayed so 
humbly for me, his faithless murderer, but now a peni 
tent sinner. Behold his heart burning with so pure, so 
ardent a love; and in consideration of his merits, deliver 
us from all the evils that we have deserved on account 
of our sins. Yes, O merciful Father ! pardon us for the 
love of Jesus Christ who is our advocate and mediator, 
and who makes satisfaction for us, whilst together with 
the Holy Ghost he renders Thee all glory and all honor 
forever and ever. Amen. 

for $012 Communion.* 

Preparation for Communion. 

St. Francis de Sales says, 1 that our Saviour can never 
be seen more amiable and more tender, in all that he 
has done for us, than in the Holy Communion, in which 
he, so to say, annihilates himself and becomes food, that 
he may unite himself to the hearts and bodies of his 
faithful. Therefore the learned Gerson used also to say, 
that there was no means more efficacious than the Holy 
Communion whereby to enkindle devotion and the holy 
love of God in our souls. 

And, indeed, if we speak of doing something agree 
able to God, what can a soul do more agreeable to him 
than to receive Communion ? St. Denis teaches us that 
love always tends towards perfect union; but how can a 
soul be more perfectly united with Jesus than in the 
manner of which he speaks himself, saying : He that 
eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood abideth in Me and I in 
him? St. Augustine says, that if every day you receive 
this sacrament, Jesus will be always with you, and you 
will always advance in divine love. 

Again, if there is question of healing our spiritual in 
firmities, what mo-re certain remedy can we have than 

1 Introd., ch. 21. 

2 " Qui manducat meam carnem et bibit meum sanguinem, in me 
manet, et ego in i\\o."John, vi. 57. 

* These Acts and the Aspirations that follow them were published 
by the Saint, with the Visits to the Blessed Sacrament, about the year 
1745. ED. 

Acts for Holy Communion. 69 

the Holy Communion, which is called by the sacred 
Council of Trent " a remedy whereby we may be freed 
from daily faults, and be preserved from mortal sins." 1 

Whence does it come, asks Cardinal Bona, that in so 
many souls we see so little fruit with so frequent Com 
munions, and that they constantly relapse into the same 
faults? He replies: "The fault is not in the food, but 
in the disposition of him who receives." 2 Can a man, 
says Solomon, hide fire in his bosom, and his garments not 
burn?* God is a consuming fire.* He comes himself in 
the Holy Communion to enkindle this divine fire ; how 
is it, then, says William of Paris, that we see so diaboli 
cal a miracle as that souls should remain cold in divine 
love in the midst of such flames? 

All comes from the want of proper dispositions, and 
especially from want of preparation. Fire immediately 
inflames dry but not green wood; for this latter is not 
disposed to burn. The saints derived great benefit from 
their Communions, because they prepared themselves 
with very great care. St. Aloysius Gonzaga devoted 
three days to his preparation for Holy Communion, and 
three days he spent in thanksgiving to his Lord. 

To prepare well for Holy Communion, a soul should 
be disposed on two main points : it should be detached 
from creatures, and have a great desire to advance in 
divine love. 

i. In the first place, then, a soul should detach itself 
from all things, and drive everything from its heart 
which is not God. He that is washed, saith Jesus, needeth 

1 " Antidotum quo liberemur a culpis quotitianis, et a peccatis mor- 
talibus praeservemur." Sess. xiii. c. 2. 

1 " Defectus non in cibo est, sed in edentis dispositione." De Sacr. 
M. c. 6, 6. 

" Numquid potest homo abscondere ignem in sinu suo, ut vesti- 
menta illius non ardeant?" Prov. vi. 27. 

4 " Ignis consumens est." Deut. iv. 24. 

70 A els for Holy Communion. 

not but to wash his feet, but is clean wholly;^ which signifies, 
as St. Bernard explains it, that in order to receive this 
sacrament with great fruit, we should not only be 
cleansed from mortal sins, but our feet also should be 
washed, that is, free from earthly affections; for being 
in contact with the earth, they excite a sort of repug 
nance in God, and soiling the soul, prevent the effects 
of the Holy Communion. 

St. Gertrude asked our Lord what preparation he re 
quired of her for the Holy Communion ; and he replied: 
" I only ask that thou shouldst come empty of thyself, to 
receive me." 2 

2. In the second place, it is necessary, in the Holy 
Communion, to have a great desire to receive Jesus 
Christ and his holy love. In this sacred banquet, says 
Gerson, 3 only those who are famishing receive their fill; 
and the most blessed Virgin Mary had already said the 
same thing: He hath filled the hungry with good things? 
As Jesus, writes the Venerable Father Avila, 6 only came 
into this world after he had been much and long desired, 
so does he only enter a soul that desires him; for it is 
not becoming that such food should be given to him 
who has a loathing for it. Our Lord one day said to 
St. Matilda: " No bee flies with such impetuosity to 
flowers, to suck their honey, as I fly to souls in the Holy- 
Communion, driven by the violence of my love." 6 Since f 
then, Jesus Christ has so great a desire to come into our 
souls, it is right that we also should have a great desire 
to receive him and his divine love by the Holy Commu 
nion. St. Francis de Sales teaches us that the principal 

1 " Qui lotus est, non indiget nisi ut pedes lavet." John, xiii. 10. 
s Insin. 1. 4, c. 26. 

3 Sup. Magn. tr. 9, p. I. 

4 " Esurientes implevit bonis." Luke, i. 53. 

5 Part I. Ep. 50. 

6 Spir. Grat. 1. 2, c. 3. 

Ads before Holy Communion. 71 

object which a soul should have in view in communicat 
ing should be, to advance in the love of God; since he 
who for love alone gives himself to us should be re 
ceived for love. 

Acts before Communion. 
i. An Act of Faith. 

Behold, He cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping over 
the hills. 1 Ah, my most amiable Saviour, over how many, 
what rough and craggy mountains, hast Thou had to 
pass in order to come and unite Thyself to me by means 
of this most holy sacrament ! Thou, from being God, 
hadst to become man ; from being immense, to become 
a babe ; from being Lord, to become a servant. Thou 
hadst to pass from the bosom of Thy Eternal Father to 
the womb of a Virgin ; from heaven into a stable ; from 
a throne of glory to the gibbet of a criminal. And on 
this very morning Thou Wilt come from Thy seat in 
heaven to dwell in my bosom. 

Behold He standeth behind our wall, looking through the 
windows, looking through the lattices? 1 Behold, O my soul, 
thy loving Jesus, burning with the same love with which 
he loved thee when dying for thee on the Cross, is now 
concealed in the Most Blessed Sacrament under the 
sacred species ; and what is he doing? Looking through 
the lattices. As an ardent lover, desirous to see you corre 
spond to his love, from the Host, as from within closed 
lattices, whence he sees without being seen, he is looking 
at you, who are this morning about to feed upon his 
divine flesh ; he observes your thoughts, what it is that 
you love, what you desire, what you seek for, and what 
offerings you are about to make him. 

1 " Ecce iste venit saliens in montibus, transiliens colles." Cant. 
ii. 8. 

2 " En ipse stat post parietem nostrum, respiciens per fenestras, 
prospiciens per cancellos." Cant. ii. 9. 

72 A els before Holy Communion. 

Awake, then, my soul, and prepare to receive thy 
Jesus ; and, in the first place, by faith, say to him : So, 
then, my beloved Redeemer, in a few moments Thou art 
coming to me? O hidden God, unknown to the greater 
part of men, I believe, I confess, I adore Thee in the 
Most Holy Sacrament as my Lord and Saviour ! And 
in acknowledgment of this truth I would willingly lay 
down my life. Thou comest to enrich me with Thy 
graces and to unite Thyself entirely to me ; how great, 
then, should be my confidence in this Thy so loving 
visit ! 

2. An Act of Confidence. 

My soul, expand thy heart. Thy Jesus can do Thee 
every good, and, indeed, loves thee. Hope thou for great 
things from this thy Lord, who, urged by love, comes 
all love to thee. 

Yes, my dear Jesus, my hope, I trust in Thy goodness, 
that, in giving Thyself to me this morning, Thou wilt 
enkindle in my poor heart the beautiful flame of Thy 
pure love, and a real desire to please Thee ; so that, 
from this day forward, I may never will anything but 
what Thou wiliest. 

3. An Act of Love. 

Ah, my God, my God, true and only love of my soul, 
and what more couldst Tiiou have done to be loved by 
me ? To die for me was not enough for Thee, my Lord; 
Thou wast pleased to institute this great sacrament in 
order to give Thyself all to me, and thus bind and unite 
Thyself heart to heart with so loathsome and ungrateful 
a creature as I am. And what is more, Thou Thyself 
invitest me to receive Thee, and desirest so much that I 
should do so ! O boundless love ! incomprehensible 
love ! infinite love ! a God would give himself all to 
me ! My soul, believest thou this ? And what doest 

Acts before Holy Communion. 73 

thou ? what sayest thou ? O God, O God, O infinite 
amiability, only worthy object of all love, I love Thee 
with my whole heart, I love Thee above all things, I 
love Thee more than myself, more than my life ! Oh, 
could I but see Thee loved by all ! Oh, could I but 
cause Thee to be loved by all hearts as much as Thou 
deservest ! I love Thee, O most amiable God, and I 
unite my miserable heart in loving Thee to the hearts 
of the Seraphim, to the heart of the most blessed Virgin 
Mary, to the Heart of Jesus, thy most loving and beloved 
Son. So that, O Infinite Good, I love Thee with the 
love with which the saints, with which Mary, with which 
Jesus love Thee. And I love Thee only because Thou 
art worthy of it, and to give Thee pleasure. Depart, all 
earthly affections, that are not for God, depart from my 
heart. Mother of fair love, most holy Virgin Mary, help 
me to love that God whom Thou dost so ardently desire 
to see loved ! 

4. An Act of Humility. 

Then, my soul, thou art even now about to feed on 
the most sacred flesh of Jesus ! And art thou worthy ? 
My God, and who am I, and who art Thou ? I indeed 
know and confess who Thou art that givest Thyself to 
me ; but dost Thou know what I am who am about to 
receive Thee ? And is it possible, O my Jesus, that Thou 
who art infinite purity desirest to come and reside in 
this soul of mine, which has been so many times the 
dwelling of Thy enemy, and soiled with so many sins? 
I know, O my Lord, Thy great Majesty and my misery ; 
I am ashamed to appear before Thee. Reverence would 
induce me to keep at a distance from Thee ; but if I 
depart from Thee, O my life, whither shall I go ? to 
whom shall I have recourse ? and what will become of 
me ? No, never will I depart from Thee ; nay, even I 
will ever draw nearer and nearer to Thee. Thou art 

74 Acts before Holy Communion. 

satisfied that I should receive Thee as food, Thou even 
invitest me to this. I come then, O my amiable Saviour, 
I come to receive Thee this morning, all humbled and 
confused at the sight of my defects ; but full of confi 
dence in Thy tender mercy, and in the love which Thou 
bearest me. 

5. An Act of Contrition. 

I am indeed grieved, O God of my soul, for not hav 
ing loved Thee during the time past; what is still worse, 
so far from loving Thee, and to gratify my own inclina 
tions, I have greatly offended and outraged Thy infinite 
goodness : I have turned my back upon Thee, I have 
despised Thy grace and friendship ; in a word, O 
my God, I was deliberate in my will to lose Thee. 
Lord, I am sorry, and grieve for it with my whole heart. 
I detest the sins which I have committed, be they great 
or small, as the greatest of all my misfortunes, because 
I have thereby offended Thee, O Infinite Goodness. I 
trust that Thou hast already forgiven me ; but if Thou 
hast not yet pardoned me, oh, do so before I receive 
Thee : wash with Thy blood this soul of mine, in which 
Thou art so soon about to dwell. 

6. An Act of Desire. 

And now, my soul, the blessed hour has arrived in 
which Jesus will come and take up his dwelling in thy 
poor heart. Behold the King of Heaven, behold thy 
Redeemer and God, who is even now coming; prepare 
thyself to receive him with love, invite him with the 
ardor of thy desire. 

Come, O my Jesus, come to my soul, which desires 
Thee. Before Thou givest Thyself to me, I desire to 
give Thee, and I now give Thee, my miserable heart ; 
do Thou accept it, and come quickly to take possession 
of it. Come, my God ! hasten ; delay no longer. My 

Acts after Holy Communion. 75 

only and Infinite Good, my treasure, my life, my Para 
dise, my love, my all, my wish is to receive Thee with 
the love with which the most holy and loving souls have 
received Thee ; with that with which the most blessed 
Virgin Mary received Thee ; to their Communions I 
unite this Communion of mine. 

Most holy Virgin and my Mother Mary, behold, I 
already approach to receive thy Son. Would that I had 
the heart and love with which thou didst communicate! 
Give me this morning thy Jesus, as thou didst give him 
to the shepherds and to the kings. I intend to receive 
him from thy most pure hands. Tell him that I am thy 
servant and thy client; for he will thus look upon me 
with a more loving eye, and now that he is coming, will 
press me more closely to himself, 


Thanksgiving After Communion. 

There is no prayer more agreeable to God, or more 
profitable to the soul, than that which is made during 
the thanksgiving after Communion. It is the opinion 
of many grave writers (Suarez, Cajetan, Valentia, De 
Lugo, and others), that the Holy Communion, so long 
as the sacramental species lasts, constantly produces 
greater and greater graces in the soul, provided the soul 
is then constant in disposing itself by new acts of virtue. 
The Council of Florence, 1 in the decree of Eugenius IV. 
to the Armenians, teaches that the Blessed Sacrament 
produces the same effect in the soul as material food, 
which, when it enters the body, takes effect according to 
the state in which it finds it. 

For this reason, holy souls endeavor to remain as long 
as possible in prayer after Communion. The Venerable 
Father Avila, even when he was given his missions, used 

1 Deer, ad Arm. 

76 A els after Holy Communion. 

to remain for at least two hours in prayer. Father Bal- 
thasar Alvarez used to say, that we should set great 
value on the time after Communion, imagining that we 
hear from the lips of Jesus Christ himself the words that 
he addressed to his disciples: But Me you have not always 
with you. 1 

It is not advisable, as many do, to begin to read im 
mediately after Communion: it is then better to spend 
at least a short time in producing holy affections, and in 
conversing with Jesus, who is then within us, and in 
repeating many times words of tenderness, or some feel 
ing prayer. Jesus Christ repeated the same prayer in 
the garden three times: And He prayed the third time, say 
ing the self-same word? In affections and prayers it is, 
then, that the soul should entertain itself with Jesus 
after Communion; for we must know, that the acts 
formed in prayer after Communion are far more precious 
and meritorious in the sight of God than when made at 
another time; for the soul being then united with Jesus, 
the value of the acts is increased by the presence of 
Jesus. We should, moreover, know, that after Commun 
ion Jesus Christ is more disposed to grant graces. St. 
Teresa says, that after Communion Jesus places himself 
in the soul as on a throne of grace, and then says: 
What wiliest thou that I should do for theet* meaning, 
O soul, I am come for the express purpose of granting 
thee graces : ask me what thou wilt, and as much as 
thou wiliest, thou shalt receive all. 

Oh, what treasures of grace would you receive, devout 
soul, if you only entertained yourself with Jesus for an 
hour, or at least half an hour, after Communion ! For 
this purpose you can read the following acts. After 
your prayer is ended be also careful during the whole 

1 " Me autem non semper habetis." Matt. xxvi. II. 

2 " Et oravit tertio, eumdem sermonem dicens." Matt. xxvi. 44. 

3 "Quid tibi vis faciam ?" Mark, x. 51. 

Acts after Holy Communion. 77 

day on which you have communicated to keep yourself 
united by affections and prayers with Jesus, whom you 
have received. 

Acts after Communion, 
i. An Act of Faith. 

Behold, my God is even now come to visit me ; my 
Saviour to dwell in my soul. My Jesus is even now 
within me. He is come to make himself mine, and at 
the same time to make me his. So that Jesus is mine, 
and I belong to Jesus: Jesus is all mine, and I am all 

O Infinite Goodness ! O Infinite Mercy ! O Infinite 
Love ! that a God should come to unite himself to me, 
and to make himself all mine ! My soul, now that thou 
art thus closely bound to Jesus, that thou art thus one 
with him, what doest thou ? Hast thou nothing to say to 
him; dost thou not converse with thy God, who is with 
thee? Ah, yes, renew thy faith; remember that the 
angels now surround thee adoring their God, who is 
within thy breast ; do thou also adore thy Lord within 
thyself. Enter into thyself, and banish thence every 
other thought. Unite all thy affections, and, clinging 
closely to thy God, say: 

2. An Act of Welcome. 

Ah, my Jesus, my love, my infinite good, my all, be 
ever welcome in the poor dwelling of my soul ! Ah, my 
Lord, where art thou ! to what a place art Thou come ! 
Thou hast entered my heart, which is far worse than the 
stable in which Thou wast born ; it is full of earthly 
affections, of self-love, and of inordinate desires. And 
how couldst Thou come to dwell there? I would address 
Thee with St. Peter: Depart from me, for I am a sinful 
man. 1 Yes, depart from me, O Lord, for I am indeed 
1 "Exi a me, quia homo peccator sum." Lukf, v. 8. 

78 Acts after Holy Communion. 

unworthy to receive a God of infinite goodness ; go and 
find repose in those pure- souls who serve Thee with so 
much love. But no, my Redeemer ; what do I say ? 
Leave me not ; for if Thou departest, I am lost. I 
embrace Thee, my life ; I cling to Thee. Mad indeed 
have I been in having separated myself from Thee for 
the love of creatures ; and in my ingratitude I drove 
Thee from me. But now I will never more separate 
myself from Thee, my treasure ; I desire to live and die 
ever united to Thee. Most blessed Virgin Mary, 
Seraphim, and all souls, do ye who love God with pure 
love lend me your affections, that I may worthily attend 
on my beloved Lord. 

3. An Act of Thanksgiving. 

My God and Lord, I thank Thee for the grace which 
Thou hast this morning bestowed upon me, of coming 
to dwell in my soul ; but I would wish to thank Thee 
in a manner worthy of Thee and of the great favor which 
Thou hast done me. But what do I say ? how can so 
miserable a creature as I am ever worthily thank Thee ? 

Father Segneri says, that the feeling most becoming a 
soul that communicates is that of wondering astonish 
ment at the thought, and to repeat, " A God is united to 
me ; a God is mine !" David said, What shall I render to 
the Lord for all the things that He hath rendered to me ? 1 
But I ! what return shall I make to Thee, my Jesus, who, 
after having given me so many of Thy good things, hast 
this morning, moreover, given me Thyself ? My soul, 
bless, then, and thank thy God as best thou canst. And 
thou, my Mother Mary, my holy advocates, my guardian 
angel, and all ye souls who love God, Come and hear, all 
ye that fear God, and I will tell you what great things He 

1 " Quid retribuam Domino pro omnibus quae retribuit mihi?" Ps. 

CXV. 12. 

Acts after Holy Communion. 79 

hath done for my soul. 1 Come and bless and thank my 
God for me, admiring and praising the indeed great 
graces which he has granted me. 

4. An Act of Oblation. 

My Beloved to me, and I to Him? Should a king go to 
visit a poor shepherd in his hut, what can the shepherd 
offer him other than his whole hut, such as it is ? Since, 
then, O Jesus, my divine king, Thou hast come to visit 
the poor house of my soul, I offer and give Thee this 
house and my entire self, together with my liberty and 
will: My Beloved to me, and I to Him. Thou hast given 
Thyself all to me ; I give myself all to Thee. " My Jesus, 
from this day forward I will be no longer mine; I will 
be Thine, and all Thine, May my senses be Thine, that 
they may only serve me to please Thee. And what 
greater pleasure, says St. Peter of Alcantara, can be 
found, than that of pleasing Thee, most amiable,- most 
loving, most gracious God ? I at the same time give 
Thee all the powers of my soul, and I will that they 
shall be all Thine ; my memory I will only use to recall 
to mind Thy benefits and Thy Jove ; my understanding 
I will only use to think of Thee, who always thinkest 
of my good ; my will I will only use to love Thee, my 
God, my all, and to will only that which Thou wiliest. 

My most sweet Lord, I offer, then, and consecrate to 
Thee this morning all that I am and have my senses, 
my thoughts, my affections, my desires, my pleasures, 
my inclinations, my liberty; in a word, I place my whole 
body and soul in Thy hands. 

Accept, O Infinite Majesty, the sacrifice of the hitherto 
most ungrateful sinner Thou hast ever had on earth ; 

"Venite, audite, . . . omnes qui timetis Deum, quanta fecit 
animae meae." Ps. Ixv. 16. 

3 " Dilectus meus mihi et ego illi." Ca,nt. ii. 16. 

8o Acts after Holy Communion. 

but who now offers and gives himself all to Thee. Do 
with me and dispose of me, O Lord, as Thou pleasest. 

Come, O consuming fire, O divine love ! and consume 
in me all that is mine, and that is displeasing in Thy 
most pure eyes, so that henceforward I may be all 
Thine, and may live only to execute, not Thy commands 
and counsels only, but also all Thy holy desires and Thy 
good pleasure. Amen. 

O most holy Mary, do thou present this offering of 
mine to the Most Blessed Trinity with thine own 
hands ; and do thou obtain their acceptance of it, and 
that they may grant me the grace to be faithful unto 
death. Amen, amen, amen. 

5. An Act of Petition. 

O my soul, what art thou doing? The present is no 
time to be lost: it is a precious time, in which thou 
canst receive all the graces that thou askest. Seest thou 
not the Eternal Father, who is lovingly beholding thee? 
for within thee he sees his beloved Son, the dearest 
object of his love. Drive, then, far from thee all other 
thoughts ; rekindle thy faith, enlarge thy heart, and ask 
for whatever thou wiliest. 

Hearest thou not Jesus himself who thus addresses 
thee: What wilt thou that I should do to thee? 1 O soul, 
tell me, what dost thou desire of me ? I am come for 
the express purpose of enriching and gratifying thee; 
ask with confidence, and thou wilt receive all. 

Ah ! my most sweet Saviour, since Thou hast come 
into my heart in order to grant me graces, and desirest 
that I should ask Thee for them, I ask Thee not for the 
goods of the earth riches, honors, or pleasures ; but 
grant me, I beseech Thee, intense sorrow for the dis 
pleasure that I have caused Thee ; impart to me so clear 

1 "Quid tibi vis faciam ?" Mark, x. 51. 

Acts after Holy Communion. 81 

a light, that I may know the vanity of this world, and 
how deserving Thou art of love. Change this heart of 
mine, detach it from all earthly affections; give me a 
heart conformable in all things to Thy holy will, that it 
may seek only that which is more pleasing to Thee, and 
have no other desire than Thy holy love: Create a clean 
heart in me, O God. 1 

I deserve not this ; but Thou, my Jesus, deservest it, 
since Thou art come to dwell in my soul : I ask it of 
Thee through Thy merits, and those of Thy most holy 
Mother, and by the love which Thou bearest to Thy 
Eternal Father. 

Here pause, to ask Jesus for some other particular grace for 
yourself and for your neighbors. Do not forget poor sin 
ners, or the souls in Purgatory; and pray also for me, who 
composed this little book for your good. 

Eternal Father, Jesus Christ himself, Thy Son, has 
said, Amen, amen, I say to you, If you ask the father any 
thing in My Name, He will give it you? For the love, 
then, of this Son, whom I now hold within my breast, do 
Thou graciously hear me and grant my petition. 

Amores mei dulcissimi, Jesu et Maria ! pro vobis patiar, 
pro vobis mortar; sim tot us v ester, sim nihil meus* (" My 
most sweet Loves, Jesus and Mary, may I suffer for you, 
may I die for you; may I be all yours, and in nothing my 
own ! ) 

Prayers to which Indulgences are attached. 

May the Most Blessed Sacrament be ever thanked and 
praised ! 

Blessed be the holy and Immaculate Conception of the 
Blessed Virgin Mary ! 

1 "Cor mundum crea in me, Deus." Ps. 1. 12. 
9 "Amen, amen, dico vobis: si quid petieritis Patrem in nomine 
meo, dabit vobis." John, xvi. 23. 
3 Alph. Rodrig. 

82 Acts after Holy Communion. 

Anima Christi, sanctified me ; 
Corpus Christi, salva me ; 
Sanguis Christ i, inebria me ; 
Aqua later is Christi, munda me ; 
Passio Christi, conforta me. 

O bone Jesu ! exaudi me ; 

Infra vulnera tua, absconde me ; 

Ab hoste maligno defende me ; 

In hora mortis meae t voca me ; 

Etjube me venire ad te ; 

Ut cum Sanctis et Angelis tuts collaudem te, 

Per infinita scecula sccculorum. Amen. 

Soul of Christ, sanctify me ; 

Body of Christ, protect me ; 

Blood of Christ, inebriate me ; 

Water of the side of Christ, purify me ; 

Passion of Christ, strengthen me. 

O good Jesus, hear Thou me ; 

Within Thy wounds, oh, hide me; 

Suffer me not to leave Thee ; 

From the evil one defend me ; 

In my last hour call Thou me ; 

Bid me, oh, bid me, come to Thee ; 

With saints and angels may I praise Thee, 

Through endless ages of eternity. Amen. 

Cotring Aspirations to Jfesns in tlje j3lcsseb Sacrament 

They can be used either before or after Communion, or in visiting 
the Blessed Sacrament. 

Before Communion. 

Egredimini et videte, filice Sion } regem Salomonem in dia- 
demate, quo coronavit ilium mater sua in die desponsationis 
illius " Go forth, ye daughters of Sion, and see king 
Solomon in the diadem wherewith his mother crowned 
him in the day of his espousals." 

O daughters of grace, O ye souls who love God quit the 
darkness of earth, and behold Jesus, your king, crowned 
with a crown of thorns ; the crown of contempt and suf 
fering with which the impious synagogue, his mother 
crowned him on the day of his espousals, that is to say, 
on the day of his death, by means of which he espoused 
himself on the Cross to our souls. Go forth again, and 
behold him all full of compassion and love, now that he 
comes to unite himself to thee in this sacrament of love. 

Has it indeed, then, cost Thee so much, my beloved 
Jesus, before Thou couldst come and unite Thyself to 
souls in this most sweet Sacrament ? Wert Thou indeed 
obliged to suffer so bitter and ignominious a death ? 
Oh, come, then, without delay, and unite Thyself to my 
soul also. It was at one time Thy enemy by sin ; but 
now Thou desirest to espouse it by Thy grace. Come, 

Jesus, my spouse, for never more will I betray Thee ; 

1 am determined to be ever faithful to Thee. As a lov 
ing spouse, my whole thought shall be to find out Thy 

1 Cant. iii. II. 

84 Loving Aspirations before Communion. 

pleasure. I am determined to love Thee without re 
serve ; I desire to be all Thine, my Jesus, all, all, all. 


Fasciculus myrrhcz Dilectus meus mihi, inter ubera mea 
commorabitur " A bundle of myrrh is my Beloved to 
me ; he shall abide between my breasts." 1 

The myrrh plant, when pricked, sends forth tears, and 
a healthful liquor from the wounds. Before his Passion, 
our Jesus determined to pour forth his divine blood 
from his wounds in so painful a way, to give it after 
wards all to us for our salvation in this bread of life. 

Come, then, O my beloved bundle of myrrh, O my en 
amored Jesus ; Thou art indeed a subject of grief and 
pity to me when I consider Thee all wounded for me on 
the Cross : but then, when I receive Thee in this most 
sweet Sacrament, Thou becomest indeed to me more 
sweet and delicious than a bunch of the choicest grapes 
can be to one who is parched with thirst : A cluster of 
cypress my Love is to me, in the vineyards of Engaddi? 
Come, then, to my soul, and revive and satiate me with 
Thy holy love Ah, what sweetness do I feel in my soul 
at the thought, that I have to receive within myself that 
same Saviour of mine who for my salvation was pleased 
to be drained of all his blood, and sacrificed on a cross ! 
He shall abide between my breasts. No, my Jesus, never 
more will I drive Thee hence ; and Thou shalt never 
more have to leave me. I am determined ever to love 
Thee, and to be always united and closely bound up with 
Thee. I will always belong to Jesus, and Jesus will be 
always mine : forever, forever, forever He shall abide be 
tween my breasts. 

1 Cant. i. 12. 

9 " Botrus cypri Dilectus meus mihi in vineis Engaddi." Cant. 

Loving Aspirations before Communion. 85 


Dum esset Rex in aceubitu suo, nardus mea dedit odorem 
suum 1 " While the King was at His repose my spike 
nard sent forth the odor thereof." 

When Jesus comes to dwell in a soul in the Holy 
Communion, oh, how clearly does she see and know her 
own nothingness by the bright light which the king of 
heaven brings with him ! As the spikenard is the most 
lowly amongst plants, so does the soul confess itself the 
most vile of all creatures ; and when thus humbled, oh, 
how sweet is the odor which she breathes forth to her 
beloved king ! and for this reason he invites her to 
unite herself to him in closer and closer bonds. 

If, then, my soul, thou desirest that thy Jesus should 
repose in thee, consider thy own nothingness. Who art 
thou ? what dost thou deserve ? Humble thyself as 
thou shouldst do, by casting away fro^m thyself all self- 
esteem which may keep Jesus at a distance from thee, or 
prevent him from coming to repose in thee. 

Come to me, my dear Redeemer, come ; and by thy 
divine light make me to see my own lowliness, my mis 
ery, my nothingness, that Thou mayest be enabled to 
repose in me with satisfaction to Thyself, to separate 
Thyself no more from me. 


Sentite de Domino in bonitate* " Think of the Lord in 

My soul, why art thou so timid and fearful at the sight 
of the goodness and infinite love of thy Lord ? why such 
distrust? Now that thou art made worthy to receive 
within thee Jesus Christ, let thy sentiments correspond to 
this grace, by confiding in that goodness of God, who 
gives thee all himself. Truly his judgments are terrible, 
1 Cant. i. II. Wisd. i. I. 

86 Loving Aspirations before Communion. 

but they are terrible only to the proud and to the obsti 
nate; but to the humble and penitent, who desire to love 
and please him, his judgments are all mercy and love, 
emanating from a heart full of compassion and kindness. 
So that David, considering these judgments of God, su- 
perabounds with hope: / have more than hoped in Thy judg 
ments. These judgments made him happy and consoled 
him: Thy judgments are delightful; I remembered Thy judg 
ments, and was comforted? Ah! our great God is only too 
loving and generous to those who seek him with love: 
The Lord is good to the soul that seeketh Him? How good 
is God to those who seek to unite their will to the divine 
will: How good is God to Israel, to those that are of a right 

My God, my love, my hope, my all, I desire Thee, and 
Thee alone, to love Thee, to please Thee, and to do 
Thy will in all things. Let me always find Thee; make 
me agreeable to Thee; and never let me leave Thee 
again. So be it. Amen, amen. 


Vox Dilecti met pulsantis : Aperi mihi, soror mca, arnica 
mea, columba mea, immaculata mea* "The voice of my 
Beloved knocking: Open to Me, My sister, My love, My 
dove, My undefiled." 

Such are the words which Jesus in trie Blessed 
Sacrament speaks to those who love and desire him. 
Open to me, he says, O soul, thy heart, and there 
I will come to unite myself to thee; so that, being one 
with me, thou mayest become my sister by resem 
blance, my friend by participation in my riches, my 

1 " In judiciis tuis snpersperavi. Judicia tua jucunda. Memor fui 
judiciorum tuorum, . . . et consolatus sum." Ps. cxviii. 43, 39, 52. 

2 "Bonus est Dominus animae quaerenti ilium." Lam. iii. 25. 

3 " Quam bonus Israel Deus his qui recto suntcorde!" Ps. Ixxii. I. 

4 Cant. v. 2 

Loving Aspirations before Communion. 87 

dove by the gift of simplicity, my undefiled by the 
gift of purity, which I shall communicate to thee. 
And then he goes on to say, Open to me,/0r my head 
is full of dew and my locks of the drops of the night. As 
if he said: Consider, my beloved, that I have waited for 
thee all the night of the bad life thou hast led in the 
midst of darkness and error. Behold, now, instead of 
bringing scourges to chastise thee, I come in the Blessed 
Sacrament, with my hair full of heavenly dew, to extin 
guish in thee all impure desires towards creatures, and 
to kindle in Thee the happy fire of my love. Come, 
then, O my beloved Jesus, and work in me what Thou 
wilt. I renounce the love of all things, in order to be all 
Thine, and that Thou mayest make me as Thou wouldst 
have me, entirely united to Thy will. 


Veniat Dilectus meus in hortum suum, et comedat fructum 
pomorum suorum 1 " Let my beloved come into His gar 
den, and eat the fruit of His apple-trees." 

Cornelius a Lapide says that this is precisely the 
invitation that a soul desirous of the Holy Communion 
makes to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Come, my 
beloved, she says, into my poor heart, which at one 
unhappy time did not belong to Thee; but which 
now, by the help of Thy grace, has returned to Thee: 
Come and eat the fruit of Thy apple-trees. Come and 
taste in me those virtues which Thou dost bring with 
Thyself when Thou comest to me. O my Lord, at 
least for the honor of Thy majesty, purify my heart, 
adorn it, inflame it with Thy love, and make it beautiful 
in Thy sight, that it may be a worthy dwelling-place for 

1 Cant. v. I. 

88 Loving Aspirations before Communion. 


Ad ubera portabimini l "You shall be carried at the 

It is thus that Jesus from the sacred altars invites our 
souls. Come, he says, and suck my divine milk, which I 
give you in this Sacrament, wherein I offer you my own 
blood to drink. But what shepherd, says St. John Chry- 
sostom, 2 ever feeds his sheep with his own blood ? Even 
mothers give their children to nurses to be fed. But 
Thou, O divine Pastor, art so enamored of our souls as to 
wish to nourish them with Thine own blood. St. Catha 
rine of Sienna, then, did well in approaching the Holy 
Communion as if panting to suck the divine milk, in 
the same way as an infant presses anxiously to suck the 
milk from its mother s breast. And well might the 
Sacred Spouse say to her Beloved, Thy breasts are better 
than wine, 3 signifying that she esteemed the milk of this 
sacrament, as the sacred interpreters explain it, above 
all the pleasures of the world, which are transitory and 
vain, as are transitory and vain also the joys and plea 
sures of wine. 

O my beloved Jesus, since Thou wilt feed me this morn 
ing with Thine own blood in the Holy Communion, it is 
but reasonable that I should willingly renounce all the 
delights and pleasures which the world might give me. 
Yes, I give them all up; I protest that I choose rather to 
suffer all evils united to Thee, than to enjoy all the goods 
of the world away from Thee. It is sufficient happiness 
for me to please Thee, who art worthy of all that we can 
do to please Thee. I will say, then, with St. Ignatius of 
Loyola, give me, I pray Thee, but Thy love and Thy 
grace; that is sufficient for me, and I am contented. 

1 Isa. Ixvi. 12. 

2 Ad pop. Ant. horn. 60. 

3 " Meliora sunt ubera tua vino." Cant. i. i. 

Loving Aspirations before Communion. 89 


Comedite, amid, et bibite, et inebriamini, charissimi l 
" Eat, O friends, and drink, and be inebriated, my dearly 

The " friends," that is beginners, who scarcely enjoy 
the divine friendship, when they receive the Holy Com- 
munion, feed indeed on the flesh of Jesus Christ, but 
they eat with labor; while those who are on the way 
to perfection eat with less difficulty. But by the 
"dearly beloved "are meant the perfect, who, inebri 
ated with holy love, live almost out of the world, forget 
ting all things, even themselves, and think only how they 
may love and please their God. 

My beloved Jesus, I am not yet perfect; but Thou 
canst make me perfect. I am not dear to Thee, and it 
is my own fault, because I have been ungrateful and 
unfaithful; but Thou canst make me become so, by in 
ebriating me this morning with Thy love. Thy kingdom 
come? Come, my beloved Lord, and take possession of 
my whole soul. Establish Thy kingdom in me; so that 
Thou alone mayest reign in me, that Thy love alone 
may command me, and that Thy love only may I obey. 
Inebriate me, inebriate me entirely; make me forget all 
creatures, myself, my interests, and all, that I may love 
nothing but Thee, my God, my treasure, all my good, 
myall; may I sigh for Thee alone, seek Thee alone, 
think of Thee alone, and please Thee alone. Do this 
by the merits of Thy Passion. This only do I ask of 
Thee; this I hope. 


Fulcite me floribus, stipate me malis; quia amore langueo* 

1 Cant. v. i. 

8 " Adveniat regnum tuum." Matt. vi. 10. 

3 Cant. ii. 5. 

go Loving Aspirations before Communion. 

"Stay me up with flowers, compass me about with 
apples : because I languish with love." 

The languor of the soul is when, forgetful of herself 
and her affairs, she thinks only of seeking refreshment 
for her languishing love by holy desires, which are the 
flowers, and by good works, which are the fruits of 
divine love. 

O my God, O Blessed Sacrament, since Thou wilt have 
me to be all Thine, make me what Thou wouldst have 
me. Make me forget everything that does not belong to 
Thy love. Increase in me always more and more the de 
sire of pleasing Thee. Grant that these flowers may not 
always remain flowers; make them also become fruits, by 
my doing and suffering something for Thee, who hast 
done and suffered only too much for me. O God, O 
God of my soul, make Thyself loved, but really loved, 
by me, not only in word, but in deed, before death 
comes upon me. 


Dilectus meus candidus et rubicundus, electus et millibus } 
" My Beloved is white and ruddy, chosen out of 

Our beloved Jesus is all white by his purity, and 
all red by the flames of his divine love. 

My spotless Lamb, all burning with love for me, when 
shall I make myself like to Thee, pure as Thou art, O 
lily; burning with love of Thee as Thou dost burn with 
love of me ? Yes, I do renounce all other love, and 
choose for myself Thy sweet love, my God, my all. 
Begone, ye creatures ! what do you want with me? Go 
and enjoy the love of those who seek you. I wish only 
for my God; for God alone will I keep all my heart and 
all my affections. 

1 Cant. v. TO. 

Loving Aspirations before Communion. 91 


Benignitas et humanitas apparuit Salvatoris nostri Dei 1 
"The goodness and kindness of God our Saviour ap 

St. Paul says that God, by making himself man, 
showed the world how far his goodness towards us 
went. But by giving himself in this sacrament, he 
makes us know the depth of the tenderness of his love 
towards our souls. " Does it not seem madness to say, 
Eat my flesh, and drink my blood ?" St. Augustine 
says, does it not seem a madness, Jesus Christ saying to 
us, as he said in that blessed night, 3 Take and eat, this is 
My body?* O men, he says, to make you understand 
how much I love you, I will that you should come and 
feed on my very flesh. O holy faith ! And who among 
us would have been able to demand so much ? Who 
could have even thought of it, if Jesus had not thought 
it and done it ? Some of the followers of Jesus Christ, 
when they heard that from his mouth, that is, that he 
wished to give them his body to eat, said that this was 
too hard a thing, and that they could neither believe nor 
hear it : This saying is hard, and who can hear it ? * And 
they went so far as to leave him, because they would 
not believe it : but yet it is of faith that so it is. But 
what else does Jesus Christ ask of us, by all this he has 
done for us, but that we should love him ? as the Lord 
had once before instructed his people : And now, Israel, 
what does the Lord thy God require of thee, but that thou 
. . . Iwe Him and serve Him with all thy heart ? 5 

1 Tit. iii. 4. 

5 " Nonne videtur insania: Manducate meam carnem, bibite meum 
sanguinem?" In Ps. xxxiii. en. i. 

3 "Accipite, et comedite; hoc est corpus meum." Matt. xxvi. 26. 

4 " Durus est hie sermo et quis potest eum audire?" John, vi. 61. 

5 " Et nunc, Israel, quid Dominus Deus tuus petit a te, nisiut . . . 
diligas eum, ac servias Domino Deo tuo in toto corde tuo?" Deut. 

X. 12. 

92 Loving Aspirations before Communion. 

my most loving Jesus, what dost Thou not give, 
what dost Thou not promise to those that love Thee? 
Thou dost promise them Thy love : / love those that love 
Me. 1 Thou dost promise them Thy caresses, even when 
they have already turned their backs upon Thee : Turn 
ye to Me, and I will turn to you." 2 Thou dost promise to 
come with the Father and the Holy Spirit to abide for 
ever in their souls : He who loveth Me shall be loved of My 
Father, . . . and We will come to him and make Our abode 
with him. 6 And what more hast Thou to promise and to 
give, to entice men to love Thee ? My dearest Lord, I 
see how it is ; Thou dost wish also to be loved by me : 
yes, I love Thee with all my heart; and if I do not love 
Thee, do Thou teach me to love Thee; make me to love 
Thee, and to love Thee above all things: " Give what 
Thou commandest, and command what Thou wilt" 4 


Nolite me considerare quod fusca sim, quia decoloravit me 
sol* "Do not consider me, that I am brown; for the sun 
has discolored me." 

The heat of my passions, said the Sacred Spouse (and 
still more ought I to say it, O my dear Jesus), has de 
formed and blackened me : / am black, but beautiful? 
But I am black by my own works; I am beautiful by 
Thy merits, O my Redeemer. I was black at one time, 
when I was alone and separated from Thee; but now 
that I am united to Thee, Thy grace, Thy beauty, 
Thy love has made me beautiful. 

Yes, my Jesus, so do I hope. Mayest Thou be blessed 

1 "Ego diligentes me diligo." Prov. viii. 17. 

2 " Convertimini ad me, . . . et convertar ad vos." Zach. i. 3. 

3 " Si quis diligit me, . . . et Pater meus diliget eum, et ad eura 
veniemus, et mansionem apud eum faciemus." John, xiv. 23. 

4 " Da quod jubes, et jube quod vis." S. Aug. Conf. 1. 10, c. 29. 

5 Cant. i. 5. 6 "Nigra sum, sed formosa." Ibid. 4. 

Loving Aspirations after Communion. 93 

forever. Never permit me to lose Thee again, and to 
return to my former depravity. I love Thee, O infinite 
beauty; I wish also that my soul should be beautiful, 
always beautiful, that it may be always pleasing in Thy 
divine sight, and that Thou mayest always love it. 

After Communion. 

Trahe me: post te curremus in odorem unguentorum 
tuorum l " Draw me : we will run after Thee to the odor 
of Thy ointments." 

Since, then, O my dear Jesus, I cannot, while in 
this life, ascend to Thee, Thou hast willed to de 
scend to me, to unite Thyself to me in this sacra 
ment of love. Draw me, my Lord, all to Thee. I do 
not wish to draw Thee to me, that Thou shouldst do 
my pleasure ; but I desire that thou shouldst draw me 
so entirely to Thee by Thy sweet attractions, that I may 
not be able to desire or do anything else but Thy most 
holy will. It is just that my inclinations should yield 
to Thy disposition. Take me up wholly to Thyself; and 
so united, I shall be free from earthly affections, and 
shall run with Thee in the path of virtue, and be able 
to repose peacefully in Thy divine will both in this life 
and in the next: In peace, in the self -same I will sleep, and 
I will rest? 


Introduxit me in cellam vinariam, ordinavit in me chari- 
tatem 3 " The King brought me into the cellar of wine, 
and set in order charity in me." 

It is precisely by this cellar of wine that St. Bonaven- 

1 Cant. i. 3. 

2 " In pace, in idipsum dormiam et requiescam." Ps. iv. 9. 

3 Cant. ii. 4. 

94 Loving Aspirations after Communion* 

ture understands the Holy Communion which introduces 
and then unites the soul to its divine king, and gives 
it to taste that wine of love which destroys the desire 
of created things; infuses a well-regulated love, that is 
just towards itself, charitable towards its neighbor, 
supreme towards God, loving him above all things, 
who above all things deserves to be loved. 

O Jesus, my king, only Lord of my heart, Thou hast 
already brought me into the beautiful cellar of Thy love, 
that is, into Thyself, uniting me to Thee by means of 
this sacrament of love. Yes, my Lord, I already feel 
my heart changed. I feel a holy desire, which gives me 
peace, and makes me loathe all impure affections, and 
enkindles in me the pure love of Thee. O my Jesus, 
since Thou hast given me an entrance to this beautiful 
cellar, let me no more depart from it. Since Thou hast 
united Thyself to me, do not leave me again. Detach 
me from the love of all creatures. Unite me to Thee 
continually more and more on this earth, that I may one 
day come to be perfectly united to Thee in heaven ; 
where I shall love Thee face to face with all my strength, 
without interruption and without imperfection through 
out all eternity. 


Dilectus meuf descendit ad hortum suum, . . . ut pascatur 
in hortis, et lilia colligat * " My Beloved is gone down into 
His garden ... to feed in the gardens, and to gather 

My sweet Saviour, since Thou dost descend from heaven 
to come into my soul, by Thy grace do Thou make it be 
come Thy garden, that Thou mayest gather in it lilies 
and fruits which are agreeable to Thee. Pardon me, if I 
have offended Thee. Receive me, if I have left Thee, 
now that I return penitent to Thee. Give me that purity 
3 Cant. vi. I. 

Loving Aspirations after Communion. 95 

which Thou dost desire to see in me. Give me strength 
to do what Thou desirest. Grant me Thy true love, and 
then shall I become pleasing to Thee. I sacrifice to 
Thee all my inclinations, and I desire and wish for noth 
ing but to please Thee. 


Totus desiderabilis, talis est Dilectus metis 1 " He is all 
lovely; such is my Beloved." 

Jesus, to those souls who love him as spouses, makes 
himself altogether desirable, whether he chastises or 
consoles them, whether he appears near or distant, be 
cause he does it all for love, and that he may be loved. 

Treat me, then, O my Jesus, as Thou wilt, I will 
always love Thee ; whether Thou dost give me sweet 
nesses or tribulations, I know that all will come to me 
from Thy loving heart, and that all will be for my great 
er good. My heart is ready, O God, my heart is ready. 1 
Behold, my will is ready, O Lord, to accept all that Thou 
shalt ordain. / will bless the Lord at all times? At all times, 
whether prosperous or adverse, I will bless Thee, and 
love Thee, O my Creator. I neither seek nor merit any 
consolation from Thee ; for I have given Thee nothing 
but bitterness by my sins : I seek only Thy good pleas 
ure. Provided Thou art satisfied, I shall be content with 
any punishment. My Jesus, my Jesus, whether far off 
or near, Thou shalt always be desirable to me, always 
dear ; whether Thou dost console or afflict me, I will 
always love Thee, always thank Thee. 


Quce est ista qua ascendit de deserto, deliciis affluens, itinixa 
super Dilectum suum?* "Who is this that cometh up 
1 Cant. v. 16. 
" Paratum cor meum, Deus, paratum cor meum." Ps. Ivi. 8. 

3 " Benedicam Dominum in omni tempore." Ps. xxxiii. 2. 

4 Cant. viii. 5. 

96 Loving Aspirations after Communion. 

from the desert flowing with delights, leaning upon her 
Beloved ? " 

Who, then, are those souls who, living on the earth, 
esteem it a desert? so that, detached from visible things, 
they live only to God ; as if there -was no one else but 
God, whom alone they love and desire to please. And in 
this way they almost go out of the world, and raise them 
selves above it ; enjoying the delights which are experi 
enced by those who wish for God alone, and who place 
in God all their hopes. Who, then, are these faithful 
souls, if not those who often and with pure love unite 
themselves to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament ? 

Yes, my God, such do I also desire to be by the means 
of Thy grace, detached from all things, and to be all 
Thine. Henceforth the world shall be to me a desert, 
where, flying from all attachment to creatures, I will 
think of nothing but Thee ; as if Thou and I were the 
only persons there. In Thee alone will I put all my 
confidence, all my love, O God, O beloved God, my hope, 
my love, my all. 


Si murus esf, (gdificemus super eum propugnacula argentea ; 
si ostium est, compingamus illud tabulis cedrinis ! " If she be 
a wall, let us build upon it bulwarks of silver; if she 
be a door, let us join it together with boards of cedar." 

This is precisely what Jesus does when he comes 
to a soul in the Holy Communion. He sees that she 
is a wall too weak to be able to resist the assaults 
of hell ; therefore, by the virtue of the sacrament, he 
fortifies her with bulwarks of silver, that is, with his 
divine light. He sees that she is a door inclined easily 
to be corrupted, and he renews it, adjusting her with 
planks of strength and perseverance, as is signified 
by cedar, which is a strong and incorruptible wood ; 

1 Cant. viii. 9. 

Loving Aspirations after Communion. 97 

that is, with the gifts of holy fear, with detachment from 
creatures, with the love of prayer, with supplications, 
with holy desires, and still more with the gift of divine 
love, which are the support of holy perseverance: Bread 
strengthens man s heart. 1 Jesus teaches us, that as earthly 
bread preserves the life of the body, so the heavenly 
bread of the Holy Communion preserves the life of the 
soul: He that eateth Me, the same shall live by Me? He that 
eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood abideth in Me and I in 
/iim. 3 Such are the gracious promises which Jesus 
makes to him who receives him in the Blessed Sacra 

Ah, my Jesus ! who is weaker and more unfaithful 
than I ? Thou knowest well how many times I have 
yielded to my enemies, and how many times they have 
seized the gate, that is, my will, by which they have 
entered to ruin me by causing me to lose Thy friendship. 
Oh, fortify me with Thy light and strength, that I may 
no more lose Thee or drive Thee from me ! My Lord 
and my dear Redeemer, if I am to turn back and offend 
Thee again, oh, let me die now, while I hope that I am 
in Thy grace and united to Thee ! I trust not myself ; 
no, nor will I ever, my dear Jesus, live without Thee. 
But as long as I live, I am in danger of changing my will 
and betraying Thee, as I have done before: do Thou 
help me. Help me also, most holy Mary ; have pity on 
me: thou who art the Mother of perseverance, obtain for 
me this gift from thy Jesus. Of thee I seek it, of thee I 
hope it, of thee I ask it. 


Invent, quern diligit anima me a; tenui eum, nee dimittam ! * 

1 " Panis cor hominis confirmet." Ps. ciii. 15. 

2 " Qui manducat me, et ipse vivet propter me." John, vi. 58. 
"Qui manducat meam carnem et bibit meum sanguinem, in me 

manet, et ego in illo." Ibid. 57. 
4 Cant. Hi. 4. 

98 Loving Aspirations after Communion. 

" I found Him whom my soul loveth: I held Him, and 
I will not let Him go." 

So ought every soul to say who is united with Jesus 
in the Blessed Sacrament: Creatures, depart from me ; 
go out altogether from my heart. I loved you once, 
because I was blind ; now I love you not, nor can I 
ever love you again. I have found another good, 
infinitely more delightful than you : I have found in 
myself my Jesus, who has enamoured me by his beauty ; 
to this love I have given myself entirely. He has al 
ready accepted me, so that I am no longer my own. 
Creatures, farewell: I am not, nor shall I ever again 
be yours ; but I am and shall be always Christ s. He, 
too, is mine, and will always be mine: / held Him, 
and I will not let Him go? Now I have pressed him to 
my heart, receiving him in the Holy Communion ; for 
the future I will hold him with my love, and will not let 
him leave me any more. 

Permit me, sweet Saviour, to embrace Thee so closely, 
that I may never more be separated from Thee. Behold, 
I press Thee to myself, my Jesus ; I love Thee, I love 
Thee ; and, oh, that I could love Thee worthily. I wish 
that my only happiness and repose should be to love 
Thee and please Thee. Do Thou command all creatures 
to leave me, and not to disturb me ; say to them, I adjure 
you, do not arouse or waken My love? Ah, if I do not wish 
it, creatures cannot enter in to disturb and divide me 
from Thee. Strengthen, then, my will, unite my misera 
ble heart to Thy divine heart, that it may always will 
what Thou wilt. Do this, Lord, by Thy merits. Amen, 
amen. So do I hope ; so may it be. 

1 " Inveni, quern diligit anima mea ; tenui eum, nee dimittam." 
Cant. iii. 4. 

2 " Adjuro vos, . . .ne suscitetis neque evigilare faciatis dilectam." 
Cant. viii. 4. 

Loving Aspirations after Communion. 99 


Surge, aquilo, et veni, auster ; perfla hortum meum, et fluant 
aromata illius 1 "Arise, O north wind, and come, O 
south wind, blow through my garden, and let the aro- 
matical spices thereof flow." 

Fly from me, O north wind ! hurtful and cold wind 
of earthly affections ; and come, thou soft, warm breeze 
of the sacred love of the Holy Spirit, which comes from 
the Heart of my Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Do 
thou alone breathe through my soul, which has been 
chosen by Jesus for his garden of delights. Blow ; for 
by thy breath how many fresh and sweet odors of holy 
virtues shalt thou draw forth from me ! My Jesus, my 
Jesus, Thou canst do this ; and this do I hope from 


Messui myrrham mcam cum aromatibus meis, comedi favum 
cum melle mco* "I have gathered my myrrh, with my 
aromatical spices: I have eaten the honeycomb with my 

A soul which has received Jesus must be careful 
to gather myrrh, that it may always offer the sweet 
odor of those virtues which arise from mortification. / 
have eaten honeycomb with my honey. In like manner, the 
soul that loves God alone is not satisfied with the honey, 
but will also have the honeycomb; therefore it says to 
Jesus: O Lord, Thy consolations are not sufficient for 
me, unless Thou givest me Thyself, who art the fountain 
of consolation; the fruits of love are not enough for me, 
if Thou dost not give me also Thyself, who art the ob 
ject of my love. Truly Thou alone wilt suffice for me; 
I am ready to renounce all Thy delights, provided I 
possess Thee alone, my God, and my only good. I love 

1 Cant. iv. 16. 2 Cant. v. I. 

ioo Loving Aspirations after Communion. 

Thee, not to please myself, but to please Thee; for Thou 
dost desire to be loved by me, and Thou art worthy of 
all our love, whether Thou dost console or try us. 


Nihil mihi deer it; in loco pascuce ibi me collocavit 1 "He 
hath set me in a place of pasture, and I shall want noth 

Ah, my beloved Jesus ! since Thou dost invite me 
in this feast of love to feed on Thy divine flesh, what 
more can I ever want ? The Lord is my light and my 
salvation, whom shall I fear?* Whom shall I fear, if 
Thou, O God omnipotent, art my light and my salva 
tion ? I give myself all to Thee. Accept me, and then 
do with me what Thou wilt; chastise me, show Thine 
indignation towards me when Thou wilt; kill me, de 
stroy me, and I will say always, with Job : Although He 
should kill me, I will trust in Him? Whilst I am Thine, 
and Thou lovest me, I am content to be treated by Thee 
with every hardship; to be even annihilated, if it so 
pleases Thee. 


In manibus meis descripsi te ; muri tui coram oculis meis 
semper* "I have graven thee in My hands; thy walls 
are always before My eyes." 

See the loving care that God takes of a soul that 
he wishes to have to himself. He carries it written 
in his hands, so that he may never forget it, and 
says, that sooner would a mother forget her own son 
than he a soul in grace : And if she should forget, yet 

1 Ps. xxii. i. 

2 " Dominus illuminatio mea et salus mea; quern timebo?" Ps. 
xxvi. i. 

3 " Etiam si Occident me, in ipso sperabo." Job, xiii. 15. 

4 Isa. xlix. 1 6. 

Loving Aspirations after Commimion. 101 

will I not forget /to. 1 And thy walls are always before 
My eyes. His eyes are always open, to watch over that 
soul, so that its enemies do it not harm: Thou hast 
crowned us, as with a shield of Thy good-will? Our good 
God surrounds us with the protection of his good-will, 
wholly solicitous for our good; and so he delivers us 
from all dangers. Ah, my God ! infinite goodness, who 
more than any other lovest me and desirest my good, I 
abandon myself entirely to Thee. Should every other 
hope fall me, Thou wilt never fail me. I know that I 
also must co-operate by obeying Thy holy will. Lord, 
what wilt Thou have me to do?* Nothing else can I say; 
behold me ready and determined, my sweet Saviour, to 
do what Thou pleasest : Thy will be done* Nothing else 
do I desire but to accomplish Thy will. But do Thou 
help me, otherwise I shall do no good at all. Teach me 
not only to know, but also to do, all that pleases Thee : 
teach me to do Thy will? Eternal Father, grant that I may 
be able to say with truth, as Thy Jesus did whilst he was 
on earth: / always do the things that are pleasing to Him* 
My God ! this I desire, this I pray for, and this I hope, 
through the merits of Thy Son and the most holy Mary. 


Prcebe, fili mi, cor tuum mihi" 1 " My son, give Me thy 

my soul, behold this is all that thy Lord asks of 
thee; when he comes to visit thee, he would have thy 

1 " Et si ilia oblita fuerit, ego tamen non obliviscar tui." Isa. 
xlix. 15. 

2 " Scuto bonae voluntatis tuae coronasti nos." Ps. v. 13. 

3 " Domine, quid me vis facere ?" Ads, xii. 6. 

4 " Fiat voluntas tua." Matt. vi. 10. 

5 " Doce me facere voluntatem tuam." Ps. cxlii. 10. 

6 " Ego, quce placita sunt ei, facio semper. "John, viii. 2q. 
1 Prov. xxiii. 26. 

IO2 Loving Aspirations after Communion. 

heart and thy will. He gives himself to thee without 
reserve ; it is but reasonable that thou shouldst also 
give him all thyself without reserve, taking care to fol 
low his will in all things: For the Lord will return to rejoice 
over thee in all good things? Act in such a manner as that 
Jesus, when he comes to thee again, may find that thou 
hast executed all his designs. My Jesus! I wish to 
please Thee ; help Thou my desire. Give me strength, 
and do with me whatsoever Thou pleasest. 


Quid est quod dcbui ultra facer e vinece mecz, et non fed ei ? 2 
"What is there that I ought to do to my vineyard, 
that I have not done to it ?" 

My soul, hear what thy God says to thee : What ought 
I to do more for thee than I have done ? For love of 
thee I became man : I am the Word made flesh? Instead 
of Lord, I have become servant : taking the form of a ser 
vant.^ I went so far as to be born in a stable, like a worm 
for worms are born in stables: / am a worm, and no 
man* I died for thee, I died upon the tree of shame : 
/ was made obedient to death, even the death of the Cross. 6 
What remained more for me to do, but to give my life for 
thee ? Greater love than this no man hath, that he should 
lay down his life for his friends? But my love has in 
vented and done more for thee. After my death, I have 
chosen to leave myself in the Most Blessed Sacrament, 

1 " Revertetur enim Dominus, ut gaudeat super te in omnibus 
bonis." Deut. xxx. 9. 

2 Is. v. 4. 

3 " Verbum caro factum est." John, \. 14. 

4 " Formam servi accipiens." Phil. ii. 7. 

5 " Sum vermis et non homo." Ps. xxi. 7. 

6 " Factus obediens usque ad mortem, mortem autem crucis." 
Phil. ii. 8. 

1 " Majorem hac dilectionem nemo habet, ut animam suam ponat 
quis pro amicis suis." John, xv. 13. 

Loving A spira tions after Co m m u n ion. 1 03 

to give my whole self as food. Tell rne what more 
could I have done to gain thy love? 

It is true, my Lord and my Redeemer ; what can 1 
answer? I have nothing to say. Thou hast been too 
good to me, and I have been too ungrateful towards 
Thee. I wonder at Thy immense goodness ; I see my 
own baseness, and I throw myself at Thy feet, and say : 
Have pity on me, my Jesus, though I have repaid Thy 
love with so much ingratitude. Avenge Thyself, there 
fore, I pray Thee, avenge Thyself upon me, and chas 
tise me ; but do not abandon me ; chastise me and 
change me. Let me not live any longer ungrateful to 
Thee. Grant that I may love Thee at least out of grati 
tude, and that before I die I may make Thee some re 
compense for Thy love. 


Pone me ut signaculum super cor tuuv? " Put Me as a 
seal upon thy heart." 

Yes, my beloved Jesus, since I have consecrated to Thee 
my whole heart, it is but just that I should put Thee as a 
seal of love upon it, to close the entrance against any other 
affection; and thus to make known to all that my heart is 
Thine, and that Thou alone possessest dominion over it. 
But, my Lord, what dost Thou hope from me, if Thou 
dost not do the work Thyself ? I can do nothing but 
give Thee my poor heart, that Thou mayest dispose of 
me according to Thy pleasure. Behold, I give it all to 
Thee, I consecrate it to Thee, I sacrifice it to Thee. Do 
Thou possess it forever; I will no longer have any part 
in it. If Thou lovest it, mayest Thou be able to preserve 
it for Thyself. Leave it no longer in my hands, lest I 
should again take it from Thee. O God most gracious, 
O infinite love, since Thou hast so constrained me to 

1 Cant. viii. 6. 

IO4 Loving Aspirations after Communion. 

love Thee, I pray Thee, make Thyself loved, make Thy 
self loved by me. I only wish to live that I may love 
Thee, I only wish to love Thee in order to please Thee. 
Thou who dost work miracles to be able to enter into 
my heart in this sacrament, work also this one, make my 
heart all Thine; but all, all, all, without division, with 
out reserve, so that I may say, both in this life and 
in eternity, that Thou art the only Lord of my heart, 
and my only treasure : God is the God of i/iy heart, and my 
portion forever? 

Most holy Mary, my Mother and my hope, do thou 
help me, and I shall certainly be heard. Amen, amen. 
This I wish, this I hope. So be it. 

1 " Deus cordis mei, et pars mea, Deusin aeternum." Ps. Ixxii. 26. 

Hymns. 105 


Holy Communion. 

MY soul, what dost thou ? Answer me- 
Love God, who loves thee well : 

Love only does he ask of thee, 
Canst thou his love repel? 

See, how on earth for love of thee, 

In lowly form of bread, 
The sovereign good and majesty 

His dwelling-place has made. 

He bids thee now his friendship prove, 

And at his table eat ; 
To share the bread of life and love, 

His own true flesh thy meat. 

What other gift so great, so high, 

Could God himself impart? 
Could love divine do more to buy 

The love of thy poor heart ? 

Though once, in agonies of pain, 

Upon the cross he died, 
A love so great, not even then 

Was wholly satisfied. 

Not till the hour when he had found 

The sweet, mysterious way 
To join his heart in closest bond 

To thy poor heart of clay. 

io6 Hymns. 

How, then, amid such ardent flame, 
My soul, dost them not burn ? 

Canst thou refuse, for very shame, 
A loving heart s return ? 

Then yield thy heart, at length, to love 

That God of charity, 
Who gives his very self to prove 

The love, he bears to thee. 

To Jesus after Communion. 

O bread of heaven ! beneath this veil 
Thou dost my very God conceal ; 

My Jesus, dearest treasure, hail ! 
I love Thee, and adoring kneel : 

The loving soul by Thee is fed 

With Thy own self in form of bread ! 

food of life ! Thou who dost give 
The pledge of immortality ! 

1 live ; no, tis not I that live, 

God gives me life, God lives in me : 
He feeds my soul, he guides my ways 
And every grief with joy repays. 

bond of love ! that dost unite 
The servant to his loving Lord ! 

Could I dare live, and not requite 

Such loving then death were meet reward 

1 cannot live, unless to prove 

Some love for such unmeasured love. 

O mighty fire ! thou that dost burn 
To kindle every mind and heart ! 

For Thee my frozen soul doth yearn : 
Come, Lord of love, Thy warmth impart. 

If thus to speak too bold appear, 
Tis love like Thine has banished fear. 

Hymns. 107 

O sweetest dart of love divine ! 

If I have sinned, then vengeance take : 
Come, pierce this guilty heart of mine, 

And let it die for his dear sake 
Who once expired on Calvary, 

His heart pierced through for love of me. 

My dearest good ! who dost so bind 
My heart with countless chains to Thee I 

O sweetest love, my soul shall find 
In Thy dear bonds true liberty, 

Thyself Thou hast bestowed on me, 
Thine, Thine forever I will be ! 

Beloved Lord ! in heaven above, 

There, Jesus, Thou awaitest me 
To gaze on Thee with changeless love. 

Yes, thus I hope, thus shall it be : 
For how can he deny me heaven, 

Who here on earth himself hath given? 

bisits to tljc JHesseo Sacrament ana to tlje Blcssco 

THIS treatise, called the Visits to the Blessed Sacra 
ment and to the Blessed Virgin, is the first work that St. 
Alphonsus published : this was in the year 1745. This 
first-born of his pen has met from its appearance with 
marvellous success, not only in Italy, but in Europe and 
the whole Catholic world. During the lifetime of the 
holy author it was translated into nearly every lan 
guage. After more than a century the reputation that 
it has enjoyed instead of diminishing has ever increased. 
Our saint also composed other acts for Visits to the 
Blessed Sacrament and to the Blessed Virgin. These 
are to be found in Volume XVI. ED. 



MY most holy Queen, On the point of publishing 
the present little work, in which I treat of the love of 
thy Son, I know not to whom I can better dedicate it 
than to thee, my most beloved Mother, who, amongst 
all creatures, art his most tender lover. I believe that 
by this little offering which I present to thee, and which 
is composed for the sole purpose of inflaming souls more 
and more with the love of Jesus Christ, I believe, I say, 
that by it I shall greatly please thee, who desirest to see 
him loved by all as he deserves. To thee, then, I conse 
crate it, such as it is ; do thoti graciously accept and 
protect it ; not indeed that I may receive the praises of 
men, but that all who read it may for the future corre 
spond, by their greater devotion and affection, with the 
tender and excessive love which our most sweet Sav 
iour has been pleased to show us in his Passion, and in 
the institution of the Most Holy Sacrament. As such, I 
place it at thy feet, and beseech thee to accept the gift 
as wholly thine, as als6 the giver, who has long since 
placed all his hopes in thee, and wishes and hopes al 
ways to call himself, and to rejoice in being, 
Most gracious Lady, 

Thy most loving, though most unworthy servant, 


Of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer 


I BEG, my dear reader, that you will not despise this 
little book, though written with the utmost simplicity. 
I have composed it in a style very simple, because I be 
lieve that it will thus more likely promote devotion 
amongst all classes of persons. I also beg that whether 
I am living or dead you will recommend me to the 
Most Holy Sacrament each time that you use it ; and on 
my part I promise to pray for all who do me this act of 
charity, every time I offer up the Most Holy Sacrifice. 


The Visit to the Most Holy Sacrament. 

OUR holy faith teaches us, and we are bound to be 
lieve, that in the consecrated Host Jesus Christ is really 
present under the species of bread. But we must also 
understand that he is thus present on our altars as on 
a throne of love and mercy, to dispense graces and there 
to show us the love which he bears us, by being pleased 
to dwell night and day hidden in the midst of us. 

It is well known that the Holy Church instituted the 
festival of Corpus Christi with a solemn octave, and 
that she celebrates it with the many usual processions, 
and so frequent expositions of this Most Holy Sacrament, 
that men may thereby be moved gratefully to acknowl 
edge and honor this loving presence and dwelling of 
Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of the Altar, by their de 
votions, thanksgivings, and the tender affections of their 
souls. O God ! how many insults and outrages has not 
this amiable Redeemer had, and has he not daily, to en 
dure in this sacrament on the part of those very men 
for whose love he remains upon their altars on earth ! 
Of this he indeed complained to his dear servant Sister 
Margaret Alacoque, as the author of the Book of Devo 
tion to the Heart of Jesus relates. One day, as she was 
in prayer before the Most Holy Sacrament, Jesus showed 
her his heart on a throne of flames, crowned with thorns, 
and surmounted by a cross, and thus addressed her : 
" Behold that heart which has loved men so much, and 
which has spared itself nothing ; and has even gone so 
far as to consume itself, thereby to show them its love ; 

ii4 Introduction. /. 

but in return the greater part of men only show me in 
gratitude, and this by the irreverences, tepidity, sacri 
leges, and contempt which they offer me in this sacra 
ment of love ; and that which I feel the most acutely 
is, that they are hearts consecrated to me." Jesus then 
expressed his wish, that the first Friday after the octave 
of Corpus Christi should be dedicated as a particular 
festival in honor of his adorable heart ; and that on that 
day all souls who loved him should endeavor, by their 
homage, and by the affections of their souls, to make 
amends for the insults which men have offered him in 
this sacrament of the Altar ; and at the same time he 
promised abundant graces to all who should thus honor 

We can thus understand what our Lord said of, old 
by his prophet, that his delight is to be with the children 
of men ; 1 since he is unable to tear himself from them 
even when they abandon and despise him. This also 
shows us how agreeable all those souls are to the heart 
of Jesus who frequently visit him, and remain in his 
company in the churches in which he is, under the sac 
ramental species. He desired St. Mary Magdalene of 
Pazzi to visit him in the Most Blessed Sacrament thirty- 
three times a day ; and this beloved spouse of his faith 
fully obeyed him, and in all her visits to the altar ap 
proached it as near as she possibly could, as we read in 
her life. 

But let all those devout souls who often go to spend 
their time with the Most Blessed Sacrament speak ; let 
them tell us the gifts, the inspirations which they have 
received, the flames of love which are there enkindled in 
their souls, the paradise which they enjoy in the pres 
ence of this hidden God. 

The servant of God and great Sicilian missionary Fa- 

1 Prov. viii. 31. 

Introduction. /. 115 

ther, Louis La Nusa, was, even in his youth and as a 
layman, so enamoured of Jesus Christ, that he seemed 
unable to tear himself from the presence of his beloved 
Lord. Such were the joys which he there experienced, 
that his director commanded him, in virtue of obe 
dience, not to remain there for more than an hour. 
The time having elapsed, he showed in obeying (says 
the author of his life), that in tearing himself from 
the bosom of Jesus Christ he had to do himself just 
such violence as a child that has to detach itself from 
its mother s breast in the very moment in which it is 
satiating itself with the utmost avidity ; and when he 
had to do this, we are told that he remained standing 
with his eyes fixed on the altar, making repeated in 
clinations, as if he knew not how to quit his Lord, 
whose presence was so sweet and gracious to him. 
To St. Aloysius it was also forbidden to remain in the 
presence of the Most Blessed Sacrament ; and as he 
used to pass before it, finding himself drawn, so to 
speak, by the sweet attractions of his Lord, and almost 
forced to remain there, he would, with the greatest ef 
fort, tear himself away, saying, with an excess of tender 
love : Depart from me, O Lord, depart!^ There it was 
also that St. Francis Xavier found refreshment in the 
midst of his many labors in India; for he employed 
his days in toiling for souls, and his nights in the pres 
ence of the Most Blessed Sacrament. St. John Francis 
Regis did the same thing ; and sometimes finding the 
church closed, he endeavored to satisfy his longings by 
lemaining on his knees outside the door, exposed to the 
rain and cold, that at least at a distance he might attend 
upon his comforter concealed under the sacramental 
species. St. Francis of Assisi used to go to communi 
cate all his labors and undertakings to Jesus in the 

1 " Recede a me, Domine, recede ! " 

1 1 6 Introduction. I. 

Most Holy Sacrament. But tender indeed was the de 
votion of St. Wenceslaus, duke of Bohemia, to the Most 
Holy Sacrament. This holy king was so enamoured of 
Jesus there present, that he not only gathered the wheat 
and grapes, and made the hosts and wine with his own 
hands, and then gave them to be used in the Holy Sac 
rifice, but he used, even during the winter, to go at 
night to visit the church in which the Blessed Sacrament 
was kept. These visits enkindled in his beautiful soul 
such flames of divine love, that their ardor imparted it 
self even to his body, and took from the snow on which 
he walked its wonted cold ; for it is related that the ser 
vant who accompanied him in these nightly excursions, 
having to walk through the snow, suffered much from 
the cold. The holy king, on perceiving this, was moved 
to compassion, and commanded him to follow him, and 
only to step in his footmarks ; he did so, and never af 
terwards felt the cold. 

In the visits you will read other examples of the ten 
der affection with which souls inflamed with the love of 
God loved to dwell in the presence of the Most Holy 
Sacrament. But you will find that all the saints were 
enamoured of this most sweet devotion ; since, indeed, 
it is impossible to find on earth a more precious gem, or 
a treasure more worthy of all our love, than Jesus in the 
Most Holy Sacrament. Certainly amongst all devo 
tions, after that of receiving the sacraments, that of 
adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament holds the first 
place, is the most pleasing to God, and the most useful 
to ourselves. Do not then, O devout soul, refuse to 
begin this devotion ; and forsaking the conversation of 
men, dwell each day, from this time forward, for at least 
half or quarter of an hour, in some church, in the pres 
ence of Jesus Christ under the sacramental species. 
Taste and see how sweet is the Lord. 1 Only try this de- 

1 "Gustate, et videte quoniam suavis est Dominus." Ps. xxxiii. 9. 

Introduction. /. 117 

votion, and by experience you will see the great benefit 
that you will derive from it. Be assured that the time 
you will thus spend with devotion before this most 
divine Sacrament will be the most profitable to you in 
life, and the source of your greatest consolation in death 
and in eternity. You must also be aware, that in a 
quarter of an hour s prayer spent in the presence of the 
Blessed Sacrament, you will perhaps gain more than in 
all the other spiritual exercises of the day. It is true, 
that in every place God graciously hears the petitions of 
those who pray to him, having promised to do so : Ask, 
and you shall receive / yet the disciple tells us that Jesus 
dispenses his graces in greater abundance to those who 
visit him in the Most Holy Sacrament. Blessed Henry 
Suso used also to say that Jesus Christ hears the prayers 
of the faithful more graciously in the sacrament of the 
altar than elsewhere. And where, indeed, did holy souls 
make their most beautiful resolutions, but prostrate 
before the Most Holy Sacrament ? Who knows but that 
you also may one day, in the presence of the tabernacle, 
make the resolution to give yourself entirely to God ? 
In this little book I feel myself bound, at least out of 
gratitude to my Jesus in the Holy Sacrament, to declare, 
that through the means of this devotion of visiting the 
Most Blessed Sacrament, which I practised, though with 
so much tepidity and in so imperfect a manner, I aban 
doned the world, in which, unfortunately, I lived until I 
was six-and-twenty years of age. Fortunate indeed will 
you be if you can detach yourself from it at an earlier 
period, and give yourself without reserve to that Lord 
who has given himself without reserve to you. I repeat 
it, that indeed you will be blessed, not only in eternity, 
but even in this life. Believe me, all is folly : feasts, 
theatres, parties of pleasure, amusements, these are the 

1 " Petite et accipietis. John, xvi. 24. 

1 1 8 In troduction. //. 

goods of the world, but goods which are filled with the 
bitterness of gall and with sharp thorns. Believe me, 
who have experienced this and now weep over it. Be 
also assured that Jesus Christ finds means to console a 
soul that remains with a recollected spirit before the 
Most Blessed Sacrament, far beyond what the world can 
do with all its feasts and pastimes. Oh, how sweet a 
joy it is to remain with faith and tender devotion before 
an altar, and converse familiarly with Jesus Christ, who 
is there for the express purpose of listening to and 
graciously hearing those who pray to him ; to ask his 
pardon for the displeasures which we have caused him; 
to represent our wants to him, as a friend does to a friend 
in whom he places all his confidence ; to ask him for his 
graces, for his love, and for his kingdom ; but above all, 
oh, what a heaven is it there to remain making acts of 
love towards that Lord who is on the very altar praying 
to the Eternal Father for us, and is there burning with 
love for us. Indeed that love it is which detains him 
there, thus hidden and unknown, and when he is even 
despised by ungrateful souls ! But why should we say 
more ? "Taste and see." 


The Visit to the Blessed Virgin. 

And now as to the visits to the Most Blessed Virgin, 
the opinion of St. Bernard is well known, and generally 
believed : it is, that God dispenses no graces otherwise 
than through the hands of Mary : " God wills that we 
should receive nothing that does not pass through Mary s 
hands." 1 Hence Father Suarez declares that it is now 
the sentiment of the universal Church, that " the inter 
cession of Mary is not only useful, but even necessary to 

1 " Nihil nos Deus voluit habere, quod per Mariae manus non 
transiret." In Vig. Nat. Dom. s. 3. 

In tro duct ion. // 119 

obtain graces." 1 * And we may remark that the Church 
gives us strong grounds for this belief, by applying the 
words of the Sacred Scripture to Mary, and making her 
say : In me is all hope of life and of virtue. Come over to 
me, all ye that desire me* Let all come to me ; for I am 
the hope of all that you can desire. Hence she then adds: 
Blessed is the man that heareth me, and that watcheth daily at 
my gates, and waiteth at the posts of my doors? Blessed is he 
who is diligent in coming every day to the door of my 
powerful intercession; for by finding me he will find life 
and eternal salvation: He that shall find me shall find life, 
and shall have salvatioti from the Lord? Hence it is not 
without reason that the Holy Church wills that we should 
all call her our common hope, by saluting her, saying, 
" Hail, our hope !" 

" Let us then," says St. Bernard (who went so far as 
to call Mary " the whole ground of his hope"), " seek for 
graces, and seek them through Mary." 5 Otherwise, 
says St. Antoninus, if we ask for graces without her 
intercession, we shall be making an effort to fly without 
wings, and we shall obtain nothing : " He who asks with 
out her as his guide, attempts to fly without wings." 

In Father Auriemma s little book, Affetti Scambievoli? 

1 <c Sentit Ecclesia Virginis intercessionem esse utilem et necessa- 
riam." De Inc. p. 2, q. 37, a. 4, d. 23. 

2 " In me omnis spes vitae et virtutis. Transite ad me omnes." 
Ecclus. xxiv. 25. . 

3 " Beatus homo qui audit me, et qui vigilat ad fores meas quotidie, 
et observat ad postes ostii mei." Prov. viii. 34. 

4 " Qui me invenerit, inveniet vitam, et hauriet salutem a Domino." 
Ibid. 35. 

6 "Quaeramus gratiam, el per Mariam quaeramus." De Aquad. 
6 "Qui petit sine ipsa duce, sine alis tentat volare." P. 4, tit. 15, 
c. 22. 

Affetti Scamb. p. 2, c. 3. 

* This question is treated at length in the Glories of Mary, Part I. 
ch. 5- 

1 20 Introduction. //. 

we read of innumerable favors granted by the Mother of 
God to those who practised this most profitable devotion 
of often visiting her in her churches or before some 
image. We read of the graces which she granted in 
these visits to Blessed Albert the Great, to the Abbot 
Rupert, to Father Suarez, especially when she obtained 
for them the gift of understanding, by which they after 
wards became so renowned throughout the Church for 
their great learning: the graces which she granted to 
the Venerable John Berchmans of the Society of Jesus, 
who was in the daily habit of visiting Mary in a chapel 
of the Roman college ; he declared that he renounced 
all earthly love, to love no other after God than the 
Most Blessed Virgin, and had written at the foot of the 
image of his beloved Lady: "I will never rest until I 
shall have obtained a tender love for my Mother :" 1 the 
graces which she granted to St. Bernardine of Sienna, 
who in his youth also went every day to visit her in a 
chapel near the city-gate, and declared that that Lady 
had ravished his heart. Hence he called her his beloved, 
and said that he could not do less than often visit her ; 
and by her means he afterwards obtained the grace to 
renounce the world, and to become what he afterwards 
was, a great saint and the apostle of Italy. 

Do you, then, be also careful always to join to your 
daily visit to the Most Blessed Sacrament a visit to the 
most holy Virgin Mary in some church, or at least before 
a devout image of her in your own house. If you do 
this with tender affection and confidence, you may 
hope to receive great things from this most gracious 
Lady, who, as St. Andrew of Crete says, always bestows 
great gifts on those who offer her even the least act of 
homage. 2 

1 " Nunquam quiescam, donee obtinuero tenerum amorem erga 
Matrem meam." 

2 " Solet maxima pro minimis reddere." In Dorm. B. V. s. 3. 

In troduction. ///. 1 2 1 

Mary, Queen of sweetest hope, 

Who can e er forget thee? 
By thy mercy, by thy love, 

Have pity, Queen, on me? 


Spiritual Communion. 

As in all the following visits to the Most Blessed 
Sacrament a spiritual Communion is recommended, it 
will be well to explain what it is, and the great advan 
tages which result from its practice. A spiritual Com 
munion, according to St. Thomas, 1 consists in an ardent 
desire to receive Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament, and 
in lovingly embracing him as if we had actually received 

How pleasing these spiritual Communions are to 
God, and the many graces which he bestows through 
their means, was manifested by our Lord himself to 
Sister Paula Maresca, the foundress of the convent of 
St. Catharine of Sienna in Naples, when (as it is related 
in her life) he showed her two precious vessels, the one 
of gold, the other of silver. He then told her that in the 
gold vessel he preserved her sacramental Communions, 
and in the silver one her spiritual Communions. He 
also told Blessed Jane of the Cross that each time that 
she communicated spiritually she received a grace of the 
same kind as the one that she received when she really 
communicated. Above all, it will suffice for us to know 
that the holy Council of Trent 2 greatly praises spiritual 
Communions, and encourages the faithful to practise 

Hence all devout souls are accustomed often to prac 
tise this holy exercise of spiritual Communion. Blessed 
Agatha of the Cross did so two hundred times a day. 

1 P. 3, q. So, a. i. 2 Scss. xiii. c. 8. 

122 Introduction. ///. 

And Father Peter Faber, the first companion of St. 
Ignatius, used to say that it was of the highest utility to 
make spiritual Communions, in order to receive the 
sacramental Communion well. 

All those who desire to advance in the love of Jesus 
Christ are exhorted to make a spiritual Communion at 
least once in every visit that they pay to the Most 
Blessed Sacrament, and at every Mass that they hear; 
and it would even be better on these occasions to repeat 
the Communions three times, that is to say, at the 
beginning, in the middle, and at the end. This devotion 
is far more profitable than some suppose, and at the 
same time nothing can be easier to practise. The above- 
named Blessed Jane of the Cross used to say, that a 
spiritual Communion can be made without any one 
remarking it, without being fasting, without the per 
mission of our director, and that we can make it at any 
time we please: an act of love does all. 

Manner of Making the Visits.* 


My Lord Jesus Christ, who, for the love which Thou 
bearest to men, remainest night and day in this Sacra 
ment full of compassion and of love, awaiting, calling, 
and welcoming all who come to visit Thee: I believe that 
Thou art present in the Sacrament of the Altar: I adore 
Thee from the abyss of my nothingness, and I thank 
Thee for all the graces which Thou hast bestowed upon 
me, and in particular for having given me Thyself in this 
Sacrament, for having given me Thy most holy Mother 
Mary for my advocate, and for having called me to visit 
Thee in this church. 

I now salute Thy most loving Heart; and this for three 
ends: i. In thanksgiving for this great gift; 2. To make 
amends to Thee for all the outrages which Thou re- 
ceivest in this Sacrament from all Thine enemies; 3. I 
intend by this visit to adore Thee in all the places on 
earth in which Thou art present in this Sacrament, and 

* His Holiness, Pius IX., by an autograph rescript, September 7, 
1854, confirmed August 8 and September 23, 1859, attached to each 
of the two prayers of St. Alphonsus, beginning with the words, My 
Lord Jesus Christ, Most Holy Immaculate Virgin, an indulgence of 
three hundred days each time that one recites with, at least contrite 
heart, either the first before the Blesssd Sacrament, or the second 
before an image of the Blessed Virgin. His Holiness granted, be 
sides, a plenary indulgence, once a month, to persons who during this 
time recite every day both those prayers in the manner indicated, 
provided they confess and communicate and pray for some time to 
the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff. ED. 

124 Manner of Making the Visits. 

in which Thou art the least revered and the most aban 

My Jesus, I love Thee with my whole heart. I grieve 
for having hitherto so many times offended Thy infinite 
goodness. I purpose by Thy grace never more to offend 
Thee for the time to come; and now, miserable and un 
worthy though I be, I consecrate myself to Thee without 
reserve; I give Thee and renounce my entire will, my 
affections, my desires, and all that I possess. From 
henceforward do Thou dispose of me and of all that I 
have as Thou pleasest. All that I ask of Thee and de 
sire is Thy holy love, final perseverance, and the perfect 
accomplishment of Thy will. 

I recommend to Thee the souls in purgatory; but 
especially those who had the greatest devotion to the 
Most Blessed Sacrament and to the Most Blessed Virgin 
Mary. I also recommend to Thee all poor sinners. 

In fine, my dear Saviour, I unite all my affections with 
the affections of Thy most loving Heart; and I offer 
them, thus united, to Thy Eternal Father, and beseech 
him in Thy name to vouchsafe, for Thy love, to accept 
and grant them. 


My Jesus, I believe that Thou art truly present in the 
Most Blessed Sacrament. I love Thee above all things, 
and I desire to possess Thee within my soul. Since I am 
unable now to receive Thee sacramentally, come at least 
spiritually into my heart. I embrace Thee as being 
already there, and unite myself wholly to Thee; never 
permit me to be separated from Thee. 


I believe that Thou, O Jesus, art in the Most Holy 
Sacrament! I love Thee and desire Thee! Come into 
my heart. I embrace Thee; oh, never leave me! 

Manner of Making the Visits. 125 

"May the burning and most sweet power of Thy love, 
O Lord Jesus Christ, I beseech Thee, absorb my mind, 
that I may die through love of Thy love, who wast 
graciously pleased to die through love of my love." 1 
St. Francis of Assist, 

"O love not loved! O love not known!" St. Mary 
Magdalene of Pazzi. 

"O my spouse, when wilt Thou take me to Thyself? " 
St. Peter of Alcantara. 

Jesus, my good, my sweetest love, 
Strike and inflame this heart of mine, 
Make it all fire for love of Thee ! 

Hail to the love of Jesus, our life, and our all! Hail 
to Mary, our hope! Amen. 

After the spiritual Communion, you will then make a visit to 
some image of the Blessed Virgin Mary. 


Read the visit of the day, and finish by the following prayer, 
thereby to obtain the most powerful patronage of Mary : 

Most holy Immaculate Virgin and my Mother Mary, 
to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the Queen of 
the world, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, 
I have recourse to-day, I, who am the most miserable 
of all. I render thee my most humble homages, O Great 
Queen, and I thank thee for all the graces thou hast con 
ferred on me until now, particularly for having delivered 
me from hell, which I have so often deserved. I love 
thee, O most amiable Lady; and for the love which I 
bear thee, I promise to serve thee always, and to do all 
in my power to make others love thee also. I place in 

1 " Absorbeat, quaeso, Domine Jesu Christe, mentem meamignitaet 
melliflua vis amoris tui, ut amore amoris tui moriar, qui amore 
amoris mei dignatus ec mori !" 

126 Manner of Making the Visits. 

thee all my hopes; I confide my salvation to thy care. 
Accept me for thy servant, and receive me under thy 
mantle, O Mother of mercy. And since thou art so 
powerful with God, deliver me from all temptations, or 
rather obtain me the strength to triumph over them 
until death. Of thee I ask a perfect love for Jesus 
Christ. From thee I hope to die a good death. O my 
Mother, by the love which thou bearest to God, I beseech 
thee to help me at all times, but especially at the last 
moment of my life. Leave me not, I beseech thee, until 
thou seest me safe in heaven, blessing thee, and singing 
thy mercies for all eternity. Amen. So I hope. So may 
it be. 

fcisits to tlje SHesseb Sacrament, airtr to tlje Blesseir 


To the Blessed Sacrament. 
Say preliminary prayer, My Lord Jesus Chiist, etc., page 123. 

Behold the source of every good, Jesus in the Most 
Holy Sacrament, who says, If any man thirst, let him come 
to Me. 1 Oh, what torrents of grace have the saints 
drawn from the fountain of the Most Blessed Sacra 
ment ! for there Jesus dispenses all the merits of his Pas 
sion, as it was foretold by the Prophet: You shall draw 
waters with joy out of the Saviour s fountains? The Count 
ess of Feria, that illustrious disciple of the Venerable 
Father John d Avila, afterwards a poor Clare, and sur- 
named the spouse of the Most Blessed Sacrament from 
her long and frequent visits to it, on being asked how 
she employed the many hours thus passed in the pres 
ence of the Holy of holies, answered: " I could remain 
there for all eternity. And is not there present the very 
essence of God, who will be the food of the blessed ? 
Good God ! am I asked what I do in his presence ? Why 
am I not rather asked, what is not done there ? We love, 
we ask, we praise, we give thanks. We ask, what does 
a poor man do in the presence of one who is rich ? What 
does a sick man do in the presence of his physician ? 
What does a man do who is parched with thirst in the 

1 " Qui sitit, venial ad me." John, vii. 37. 
" Haurietis aquas in gaudio de fontibus Salvatoris." Isa. xii. 3. 

* See manner of making the Visits, page 123. 

1 28 Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament 

presence of a clear fountain ? What is th"e occupation of 
one who is starving, and is placed before a splendid 
table ?" 

O my most amiable, most sweet, most beloved Jesus, 
my life, my hope, my treasure, the only love of my soul; 
oh, what has it cost Thee to remain thus with us in this 
Sacrament ! Thou hadst to die, that Thou mightest 
thus dwell amongst us on our altars; and then, how 
many insults hast Thou not had to endure in this Sacra 
ment, in order to aid us by Thy presence ! Thy love, 
and the desire which Thou hast to be loved by us, have 
conquered all. 

Come then, O Lord ! come and take possession of my 
heart ; close its doors forever, that henceforward no 
creature may enter there, to divide the love which is due 
to Thee, and which it is my ardent desire to bestow all 
on Thee. Do Thou alone, my dear Redeemer, rule me; 
do Thou alone possess my whole being; and if ever I do 
not obey Thee perfectly, chastise me with rigor, that 
thenceforward I may be more watchful to please Thee 
as Thou wiliest. Grant that I may no longer seek for 
any other pleasure than that of giving Thee pleasure ; 
that all my pleasure may be to visit Thee often on Thy 
altar ; to entertain myself with Thee, and to receive Thee 
in Holy Communion. Let all who will, seek other 
treasures ; the only treasure that I love, the only one 
that I desire, is that of Thy love; for this only will I ask 
at the foot of the altar. Do Thou make me forget my 
self, that thus I may only remember Thy goodness. Ye 
blessed seraphim, I envy you, not for your glory, but for 
the love which you bear to your and my God ; oh, do 
you teach me what I must do to love him, and to please 

Ejaculatory prayer. My Jesus, I will love Thee only; 
Thee only do I desire to please. 

and to the Blessed Virgin. /. 129 

Then follows the Spiritual Communion, page 124, after which 
the visit should be paid to the ever-blessed Mary, the Mother 
of God, before her image. 

Visit to the Blessed Virgin Mary.* 

In our Mother Mary we have another fountain, which 
is indeed fruitful to us. She is so rich in good things 
and in graces, says St. Bernard, that there is no one 
in the world who does not participate in them: " Of 

* We have two kinds of Visits to the Blessed Virgin, one of which 
is found in several editions published at Naples, and the other in 
those editions that have appeared elsewhere. Both kinds, however, 
were without doubt written by St. Alphonsus. This is the reason 
why we publish them in his complete works. It may, perhaps, be 
asked why two kinds of Visits have been published, and which of the 
two was published first? To this no positive answer can be given, 
though we may venture on a conjecture. The Visits to the Blessed 
Sacrament appeared about the year 1745, with those Visits to the 
Blessed Virgin that we have put in the first place, and that were soon 
spread all over Europe. About five years after this publication, in 
1750, the work called Glories of Mary was published, and excited com 
ment on the part of some critics. An anonymous writer dared to re 
proach St. Alphonsus with having exaggerated certain prerogatives 
attributed to the Mother of God ; but the saint at once replied to this 
attack and triumphantly repelled it. It is very probable that St. Al 
phonsus then replaced the first twenty-two Visits that he had com 
posed in honor of the Blessed Virgin by prayers drawn from different 
authors of great celebrity prayers that had already been inserted 
in his book, the Glories of Mary, " to show the high idea that the 
saints had of the power and mercy of the Mother of God." The nine 
other Visits, joined to these prayers, appear to have been chosen 
with some modifications in the text which we regard as the first pub 
lished. But this change was made only in the Naples editions ; 
everywhere else the first prevailing text, or translations therefrom, 
have continued to be printed, with the exception of the first French 
translation which was made in 1773, from the fifteenth Naples edi 
tion. En. 

130 Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament 

her fulness we have all received." * The Most Blessed 
Virgin Mary was filled by God with grace, and as such 
was saluted by the angel, " Hail, full of grace ;" not for 
herself alone, but also for us. St. Peter Chrysologus 
adds, that she received that great abyss of grace, that 
she might then impart it to all who are devout to her: 
" The Blessed Virgin received this grace, that she might 
give in return salvation to all." 2 

Ejaculate ry prayer. Cause of our joy, pray for us ! 3 

(From the Naples Edition.) 

Prayer of St. Ephrem. 

Most pure and immaculate Virgin ! divine Mary, Mother of 
God ! thou art elevated in dignity above all the saints ; thou art 
the hope of our fathers and the joy of the elect. Through thee, 
as the Mother of Jesus, we have been reconciled with God. O 
great Queen ! have compassion on us, and grant us an asylum 
in the arms of thy mercy. We dedicate and consecrate our 
selves to thy service ; suffer not the devil to draw us with him 
into eternal flames. 

Ejaculatory prayer. Cause of our joy, pray for us. 4 
The usual prayer, page 125. 

To the Blessed Sacrament. 

My Lord Jesus Christ, etc., page 123. 

The devout Father Nieremberg says, that bread being 
a food which is consumed by eating, and which keeps 
when preserved for use, Jesus was pleased to dwell on 
earth under its species, that he might thus not only be 
consumed by uniting himself to the souls of his lovers by 

1 " De plenitudine ejus accepimus omnes." De Laud. V. M. horn. 

2 " Hanc gratiam accepit Virgo, salutem saeculis redditura." 
Serm. 143. 

3 " Causa nostrae laetitiae ! ora pro nobis." 

4 " Causa nostrae laetitiae ! ora pro nobis." 

and to the Blessed Virgin. //. 131 

means of the Holy Communion, but also that he might 
be preserved in the tabernacle, and be present with us, 
and thus remind us of the love which he bears us. St. 
Paul says: He emptied Himself , taking the form of a servant? 
But what must we say when we see him "taking the 
form of bread" ? " No tongue would suffice," says St. 
Peter of Alcantara, "to proclaim the greatness of the 
love which Jesus bears to every soul that is in a state of 
grace. In order, therefore, that his absence might not 
be to them an occasion of forgetting him, this most sweet 
Spouse, when he was pleased to quit this life, left as a 
memorial this Most Blessed Sacrament, in which he 
himself remained. He did not wish that between these 
souls and himself any other pledge but himself should 
remain, whereby to keep alive their remembrance of 

Since, then, my Jesus, Thou art enclosed in this taber 
nacle to receive the supplications of miserable creatures 
who come to seek an audience of Thee, listen this day to 
the petition addressed to Thee by the most ungrateful 
sinner living on earth. I come repentant to Thy feet ; 
for I now know the evil which I have committed in giv 
ing Thee displeasure. My first prayer and desire, then, 
is, that Thou wilt be pleased to pardon me all the sins 
that I have committed against Thee. Ah, my God, 
would that I had never offended Thee ! After this I 
must tell Thee my next desire. Now that I have found 
out Thy sovereign goodness, I have become enamoured of 
Thee; I feel an ardent desire to love Thee and to please 
Thee; but I have not the strength to do this unless Thou 
helpest me. Manifest, O great Lord, Thy supreme 
power, and Thy immense goodness to the whole court of 
heaven; change me from a great rebel, such as I have 
hitherto been to Thee, into a great lover of Thee. Thou 

Semetipsum exinanivit, formam servi accipiens." Phil ii. 7. 

132 Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament 

canst do so, and I know that such is Thy will ; supply 
all that is wanting in me, that thus I may be enabled to 
love Thee much at least that I may love Thee as much 
as I have offended Thee. I love Thee, my Jesus ; I love 
Thee above all things; I love Thee more than my life, 
my God, my love, my all ! 

Ejaculatory prayer. My God and my all. 

Spiritual Communion, page 124. 
Visit to the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

Let us go with confidence to the throne of grace : that we may 
obtain mercy, and find grace in seasonable aid. 1 St. Antoninus 
says, 2 that Mary is this throne, from which God dispenses 
all graces. 

O most amiable Queen, since thou hast so great a de 
sire to help sinners, behold a great sinner who has 
recourse to thee; help me much, and help me without 
delay ! 

Ejaculatory Prayer. Sole refuge of sinners, have mercy 
on me. 3 

[From the Naples Edition.] 

Prayer of St. Ephrcm. 

Queen of the universe and most bountiful sovereign ! thou 
art the great advocate of sinners, the sure port of those who 
have suffered shipwreck, the resource of the world, the ransom 
of captives, the solace of the weak, the consolation of the af 
flicted, the refuge and salvation of every creature. O full of 
grace l enlighten my understanding, and loosen my tongue, that 
I may recount thy praises, and sing to thee the angelical saluta 
tion, which thou so justly deservest. Hail, thou who art the 
peace, the joy, the consolation of the whole world ! Hail, para- 

1 " Adeamuscum fiducia ad thronum gratiae, ut misericordiam con- 
sequamur, et gratiam inveniamus in auxilio opportune. " Heb. iv. 16. 

2 P. 4, ///. 15, c. 14. 

3 " Unicum Refugium peccatorum ! miserere mei !" St. Aug. 

and to the Blessed Virgin. ///. 133 

disc of delight, the assured asylum of all who are in danger, the 
source of grace, the mediatrix between God and man i 
Ejaculatory Prayer. Refuge of sinners, take pity on me. 
The usual prayer, page 125. 


To the Blessed Sacrament. 

My Lord Jesus Christ, etc., page 123. 

And My delights were to be with the children of men. 1 
Behold our Jesus, who, not satisfied with dying on earth 
for our love, is pleased even after his death to dwell with 
us in the Most Holy Sacrament, declaring that he finds 
his delights among men. " O men," exclaims St. 
Teresa, "how can you offend a God who declares that it 
is with you that he finds his delights !" Jesus finds his 
delights with us; and shall we not find ours with Jesus ? 
And we especially who have had the honor to dwell in 
his palace? How greatly do those vassals esteem them 
selves honored to whom the king assigns an abode in his 
own residence ! Behold the palace of the King; it is this 
house in which we dwell with Jesus Christ. Let us, then, 
learn to thank him for it, and to avail ourselves of con 
versing with Jesus Christ. 

Behold me, then, O my Lord and God, before this 
altar, on which Thou dost reside night and day for my 
sake. Thou art the source of every good; Thou art the 
healer of every ill; Thou art the treasure of every poor 
creature. Behold now at Thy feet a sinner, who is of all 
the poorest and most infirm, and who asks Thy mercy; 
have pity upon me ! Now that I see Thee in this Sacra 
ment, come down from heaven upon earth only to do me 
good; I will not be disheartened at the sight of my 
misery. I praise Thee, I thank Thee, I love Thee; and if 

1 " Delicise meae, esse cum filiis hominum." Prov. viii. 31. 

1 34 Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament 

Thou wiliest that I should ask Thee for an alms, I will 
ask for this. O listen to me: I desire never more to of 
fend Thee; and I desire that Thou shouldst give me light 
and grace to love Thee with all my strength. Lord, 
I love Thee with my whole soul; I love Thee with 
all my affections. Do Thou grant that I may thus 
speak with truth; and that I may speak in the same 
way during life and for all eternity. Most holy Virgin 
Mary, my holy patron saints, ye angels and all ye 
blessed spirits of paradise, help me to love my most 
amiable God. 

Ejaculatory Prayer. O Good Shepherd, true bread, Jesus, 
have mercy on us: do Thou feed us; do Thou guard us; 
do Thou show us good things in the land of the living ! 1 

Spiritual Communion, page 124. 
Visit to the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

Her bands are a healthful binding? The devout Pel bar t 
says 3 that devotion to Mary is a chain of predestination. 
Let us beseech our sovereign Lady to bind us always 
more closely by the chains of love to confidence in her 

Ejaculatory Prayer. O clement, O pious, O sweet Virgin 
Mary. 4 . 

[From the Naples Edition.] 
Prayer of St. Germanus of Constantinople. 

Most holy Virgin ! who art the greatest consolation that I re 
ceive from God, thou who art the heavenly dew which assuages 

1 " Bone Pastor, Panis vere, 
Jesu ! nostri miserere : 
Tu nos pasce, nos tuere ; 
Tu nos bona fac videre 
In terra vivemium." 
* " Vincula illius, alligatura salutaris." Ecclus. vi. 35. 

3 Stellar. 1. 12, p. I, a. 2. 

4 " O clemens, o pia, o dulcis Virgo Maria." 

and to the Blessed Virgin. IV. 135 

all my pains, thou who art the light of my soul when it is en 
veloped in darkness, thou who art my guide in unknown paths, 
the support of my weakness, my treasure in poverty, my remedy 
in sickness, my consolation in trouble, my refuge in misery, and 
the hope of my salvation ; hear my supplications, have pity on 
me, as becomes the mother of so good a God, and obtain for me 
a favorable reception of all my petitions at the throne of mercy. J 
Ejaculatory Prayer. O merciful, O pious, O sweet Virgin 

The usual prayer, page 125. 


To the Blessed Sacrament. 

My Lord Jesus Christ, etc., page 123. 

Her conversation hath no bitterness, nor her cjwpany any 
tediousness? Friends on earth find such pleasure in being 
together, that they lose entire days in each other s com 
pany: with Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament, those who 
love him not, get weary. After her death, St. Teresa, 
who was already in heaven, said to a nun: "Those who 
are in heaven and those who are on earth should be one 
and the same in purity and in love; we enjoying, and 
you suffering; and that which we do in heaven with the 
divine Essence, you should do on earth with the Most 
Blessed Sacrament." 1 Behold, then, our paradise on 
earth ; the Most Blessed Sacrament. 

immaculate Lamb, sacrificed for us upon the cross, 
remember that I am one of those souls that Thou hast 
redeemed by so many sufferings, and by Thy death. 
Grant that Thou mayest be mine, and that I may never 
lose Thee, since Thou hast given Thyself to me, and 

1 Rncom. in S. Deip. 

2 " Non habet amaritudinem conversatio illius, nee taedium con- 
victus illius, sed laetitiam et gaudium." Wis. viii. 16. 

3 Rib. \. 5, c 4. 

136 Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament 

givest Thyself every day, sacrificing Thyself for my love 
on the altar ; and grant that I may be all Thine. I give 
myself to Thee without reserve, that Thou mayest dis 
pose of me as Thou pleasest. I give Thee my will; chain 
it with the sweet bonds of Thy love, that it may forever 
be the slave of Thy most holy will. I wish no longer to 
live for the satisfaction of my desires, but only to please 
Thy goodness. Destroy in me all that does not please 
Thee; grant me the grace never to have any other thought 
than to please Thee, any other desire than that which 
Thou desirest. I love Thee, O my dear Saviour, with 
my whole heart; I love Thee because Thou desirest that 
I should love Thee; I love Thee because Thou art indeed 
worthy of my love. I grieve that I love Thee not as 
much as Thou deservest. I desire, Lord, to die for 
Thy love; accept my desire and give me thy love. 

Ejaculatory Prayer. O good pleasure of my God, I 
sacrifice myself all to Thee! 

Spiritual Communion, page 124. 
Visit to the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

Mary says: I am the Mother of fair love; 1 that is to say, 
she is the Mother of that love which beautifies souls. St. 
Mary Magdalene of Pazzi saw the Most Blessed Virgin 
Mary going about dispensing a sweet liquid, which was 
divine love. This gift is dispensed only by Mary; from 
Mary let us seek it. 

Ejaculatory Prayer. My Mother, my hope, make me 
belong wholly to Jesus. 

[From the Naples Edition.] 

Prayer of St. Germanics of Constantinople. 
O sovereign Queen ! thou art our defence and our joy. Make 
me worthy to share with thee the happiness which thou enjoy- 

1 " Ego mater pulchree dilectionis." Ecclus. xxiv. 24. 

and to the Blessed Virgin. F. 137 

est in heaven. Yes, my refuge, my defence, my strength, my 
hope, obtain for me, by thy powerful intercession, a place with 
thee in paradise. Being the mother of God, thou canst obtain 
it if thou pleasest. 1 O Mary! thou art all-powerful in saving 
sinners, and, being the Mother of mercy, thou canst want no 
inducement to save them by thy intercession. 2 

Ejaculatory Prayer. O my Mother and my hope ! obtain for 
me the grace to be devoted entirely to Jesus. 
The usual prayer, page 125. 

To the Blessed Sacrament. 

My Lord Jesus Christ, etc., page 123. 

The sparrow hatJi found herself a house, and the turtle a nest 
for herself, where she may lay her young ones ! Thy altars, 
O Lord of hosts, my King and my God? The sparrow, says 
David, finds a dwelling in houses; turtle-doves in nests; 
but Thou, my king and my God, hast made Thyself a 
nest and found a dwelling on earth on our altars, that we 
might find Thee, and that Thou mightest dwell amongst 

Lord, we cannot but say, that Thou art too much en 
amoured of men; Thou no longer knowest what to do to 
gain their love. But do Thou, my most amiable Jesus, 
give us the grace that we also may be passionately en 
amoured of Thee. It would indeed be unreasonable were 
we cold in our love towards a God who loves us with such 
affection. Draw us to Thee by the sweet attractions of 
Thy love ; make us understand the endearing claims 
which Thou hast on our love. 

infinite Majesty and infinite Goodness, Thou lovest 

1 Encom. in S. Deip. 

2 In Dorm. V. M. s. 2. 

" Passer invenit sibi domum, et turtur nidum sibi, ubi ponat pullos 
suos: altaria tua, Domine virtutum, Rex meus et Deus meus." Ps. 
Ixxxiii. 4. 

138 Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament 

men so much, Thou hast done so much that Thou might- 
est be loved by men: how is it, then, that amongst men 
there are so few who love Thee? I will no longer be as 
I have hitherto been, of the unhappy number of those 
ungrateful creatures: lam resolved to love Thee as much 
as I can, and to love no other than Thee: Thou deservest 
it; Thou commandest me with io much earnestness to 
do so, I am resolved io satisfy Thee. Grant, O God of 
my soul, that I may fully satisfy Thee. I entreat Thee to 
grant me this favor by the merits of Thy Passion, and 
I confidently hope for it. Bestow the goods of the earth 
on those who desire them ; I desire and seek the great 
treasure of Thy love alone. I love Thee, my Jesus; I love 
Thee, infinite Goodness. Thou art all my riches, my 
whole satisfaction, my entire love. 

Ejaculatory Prayer. My Jesus, Thou hast given Thy 
whole self to me; I give my whole self to Thee! 

Spiritual Communion, page 124. 
Visit to the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

My Lady, St. Bernard calls thee " the ravisher of 
hearts." 3 He says that thou goest about stealing hearts 
by the charms of thy beauty and goodness. Steal also 
my heart and will, I beseech thee: I give them wholly to 
thee; offer them to God with thine own. 

Ejaculatory Prayer. Mother most amiable, pray for 

[From the Naples Edition.] 
Prayer of St. Bernard. 

We look up to thee, O Queen of the world, for protection. 
After a life of so much sin and ingratitude, we have to appear 
before our Judge, and who shall appease his wrath ? No one is so 
well qualified to do this as thyself, who didst love him so ten 
derly, and was so tenderly loved by him. O Mother of mercy, 

1 " Raptrix cordium." Med. in Salve Reg. 

2 " Mater amabilis! ora pro me." 

and to the Blessed Virgin. VI. 139 

open then thy ears to our sighs and prayers. Thou dost not 
look with disdain on the sinner, however enormous his crimes 
may have been ; if with sincere repentance he cries out to thee 
and entreats thy intercession, thou despisest him not. Thou 
animatest and consolest him, and dost not abandon him, until 
thou hast reconciled him with his Judge. 1 

We fly, therefore, to thy protection, entreating thee to ap- , 
pease the indignation of thy Son, and to restore us to His 

Ejaculatory Prayer. O Mary ! show thyself a mother to us. 
The tisital prayer, page 125. 


To the Blessed Sacrament. 

My Lord Jesus Christ^ etc., page 123. 

Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.* 
Jesus Christ says, that where a person esteems his 
treasure to be, there also he keeps his affections. There 
fore the saints, who neither esteem nor love any other 
treasure than Jesus Christ, centre their hearts and all 
their love in the Most Blessed Sacrament. 

My most amiable Jesus, hidden under the sacramental 
veils, who for the love which Thou bearest me remainest 
night and day imprisoned in this tabernacle, draw, I be 
seech Thee, my whole heart to Thee, that I may think of 
none but Thee, that I may love and seek and hope for 
Thee alone. Do this by the merits of Thy Passion, 
through which I seek and hope for it. 

Ah, my sacramental Lord and divine Lover, how ami 
able and tender are the inventions of Thy love to gain 
the love of souls! O Eternal Word, Thou, in becoming 
man, wast not satisfied with dying for us; Thou hast also 
given us this sacrament as a companion, as food, and as 

1 Depr. adglor. V. 

* " Ubi thesaurus vester est, ibi et cor vestrum erit." Luke, xii. 34. 

140 Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament 

a pledge of heaven. Thou reducest Thyself so as to ap 
pear amongst us, at one time as an infant in a stable, at 
another as a poor man in a workshop, then as a criminal 
on a gibbet, and now as bread on an altar. Tell me, 
couldst Thou invent other means to win our love? 

infinite goodness, when shall I really begin to cor 
respond with such refinements of love? Lord, I will 
only live to love Thee alone. And of what use is life to 
me, if I do not spend it wholly in loving and pleasing 
Thee, my beloved Redeemer, who hast poured out Thy 
whole life for me? And what have I to love, if it is not 
Thee, who art all beauty, all condescension, all goodness, 
all loving, all worthy of love ? May my soul live only to 
love Thee; may the sole remembrance of Thy love dissolve 
my soul with love; may the very names of crib, and cross, 
and sacrament inflame it with the desire to do great 
things for Thee, O my Jesus, who hast indeed done and 
suffered great things for me ! 

Ejaculatory Prayer. Grant, my Lord, that before I die 
I may do something for Thee ! 

Spiritual Communion, page 124. 
Visit to the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

As a fair olive-tree in the plaint I am, says Mary, the 
beautiful olive-tree from which the oil of mercy always 
flows. And I stand in the plain, that all may see me, 
and that all may have recourse to me. " Remember (let 
us say in the words of the prayer of St. Bernard), O most 
compassionate Mary, that it has never been heard of in 
any age, that any one having recourse to thy protection 
was abandoned by thee." 2 Most merciful Queen, such 
a thing was never heard of, that any one having recourse 

1 "Quasi oliva speciosa in campis." Ecclus. xxiv. 19. 

2 " Memorare, piisima Maria, a saeculo non esse auditum. quem- 
quam ad tua praesidia confugientem esse derelictum." 

and to the Blessed Virgin. VIL 141 

to thy aid was abandoned: I will not be the first unfor 
tunate creature who, having recourse to thee, was aban 

Ejaculatory Prayer. O Mary, grant me the grace always 
to have recourse to thee ! 

[From the Naples Edition.] 

Prayer of St. Bernard. 

Mary ! thou art the only woman on whom the Saviour of 
the world has poured the treasures of his grace without measure ; 
hence \ve are taught to honor thy chaste womb as the temple of 
God, wherein he was pleased to begin the great work of our 
redemption, the reconciliation of God with man. Thou, O 
mother of God, art that spiritual garden, whose fruit is never 
gathered by the hands of sinners. Thou art that hallowed soil 
where God has planted all the flowers which adorn his church, 
and amongst the rest, the holy virtues of humility, purity, and 
charity, which are greater ornaments to the souls of men than 
violets, lilies, and roses are to the earth. Thou art the paradise 
of God, whence flows the stream of living water to moisten the 
earth. Oh, what benefits were bestowed on the world through 
thee, when thou wast selected to be the fortunate channel of so 
many graces ! 

Ejaculatory Prayer. Hail \ our life, our sweetness, and our 
hope. 1 

The usual prayer, page 125. 

To the Blessed Sacrament. 

My Lord Jesus Christ, etc., page 123. 

BeJiold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of 
the world? Thus our loving shepherd, who has given 
his life for us who are His sheep, would not separate 
himself from us by death. Behold me, he says, beloved 
sheep; I am always with you; for you I have remained 

1 "Vita, Dulcedo, Spes nostra, salve !" 

2 " Ecce vobiscum sum omnibus diebus usque ad consummationem 
saeculi." Matt, xxviii. 20. 

142 Visits to the M&st Holy Sacrament 

on earth in this Sacrament; here you find me whenever 
you please, to help and console you by my presence: I 
will not leave you until the end of the world, as long as 
you are on earth. The Bride-groom, says St. Peter of 
Alcantara, wished to leave his bride company, that she 
might not remain alone during so long an absence; and 
therefore he left this Sacrament, in which he himself, the 
best companion he could leave her, remains. 

My sweetest Lord, my most amiable Saviour, I am now 
visiting Thee on this altar; but Thou returnest me the 
visit with far other love when Thou enterest my soul in 
the Holy Communion. Thou art then not only present 
to me, but Thou becomest my food; Thou unitest and 
givest Thy whole self to me, so that I can then say with 
truth, My Jesus, Thou art now all mine. Since, then, 
Thou givest Thyself all to me, it is reasonable that I 
should give myself all to Thee. I am a worm, and Thou 
art God. O God of love! O love of my soul! when 
shall I find myself all Thine, in deeds, and not only in 
words? Thou canst do this; by the merits of Thy blood 
increase my confidence, tiiat I may at once obtain this 
grace of Thee, that I may find myself all Thine, and in 
nothing mine own. Thou graciously nearest, O Lord, 
the prayers of all; hear now the prayers of a soul that 
indeed desires really to love Thee. I desire to love 
Thee with all my strength, I desire to obey Thee in all 
that Thou wiliest, without self-interest, without conso 
lations, without reward. I wish to serve Thee through 
love, only to please Thee, only to content Thy heart, 
which is so passionately enamoured of me. My reward 
will be to love Thee. O beloved Son of the eternal 
Father, take possession of my liberty, of my will, of all 
that I possess, and of my entire self, and give me Thy 
self. I love Thee, I seek after Thee, I sigh after Thee; 
I desire Thee, I desire Thee, I desire Thee ! 

Ejaculatory prayer. My Jesus, make me all Thine own! 

and to the Blessed Virgin. VI L 143 

Spiritual Communion, page 124. 
Visit to the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

O our own most amiable Lady, the whole Church pro 
claims and salutes thee as "our hope"! Thou, then, 
who art the hope of all, be also my hope. St. Bernard 
called thee "the whole ground of his hope," 1 and said: 
"Let him who despairs hope in thee." 3 Thus also will 
I address thee: My own Mary, thou savest even those 
who are in despair; in thee I place all my hope. 

Ejaculatory prayer. Mary, Mother of God, pray to Jesus 
for me ! 

[From the Naples Edition.] 

Prayer of St. Bernard. 

O Blessed Queen ! it is of thee the prophet speaks when he 
says, " Who is she that riseth like the day-star, beautiful as the 
moon, brilliant as the sun?" 3 Yes, thou didst appear in the 
world like the bright day-star, preceding by the light of thy 
sanctity the coming of the Sun of Justice. The day on which 
thou earnest into the world may well be styled a day of salva 
tion and a day of grace. Thou art beautiful as the moon ; be 
cause as none of the celestial bodies so nearly resembles the 
sun as it does, so there is no creature whose perfections so 
nearly approach to those of God as thy own. The moon en 
lightens the night by reflecting the rays of the sun, and thou 
enlightenest our darkness by the splendor of those virtues with 
which God has adorned thee. But thou art even more beauti 
ful than the moon, because in thee is found neither spot nor 
shade; thou art brilliant like the sun ; I mean that divine Sun 
who created the one which enlightens the earth, for, as he in 
his humanity is the most resplendent among men, so art thou 
the brightest amongst women. 4 

Ejaculatory prayer. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us 
sinners. 5 

The usual prayer, page 125. 

" Tola ratio spei mere." De A quad. 
* "In te speret, qui desperat." Med. in Salve Reg. 

3 Cant. vi. 9. 

4 Depr. ad glor. V. 

6 " Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus!" 

144 Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament 


To the Blessed Sacrament. 

My Lord Jesus Christ, etc., page 123. 

To every soul that visits Jesus in the Most Holy Sac 
rament, he addresses the words which he said to the 
Sacred Spouse: Arise, make haste, my love, mv dove, my 
beautiful one, and come. 1 Thou,. O soul, that visitest me, 
"arise" from thy miseries; I am here to enrich thee 
with graces. " Make haste," approach, come near me; 
fear not my majesty, which has humbled itself in this 
Sacrament in order to take away thy fear, and to give 
thee confidence. "My beloved," thou art no longer my 
enemy, but my friend; since thou lovest me and I love 
thee. "My beautiful one," my grace has made thee 
fair. "And come," draw near and cast thyself into my 
arms, and ask me with the greatest confidence for what 
ever thou wiliest. 

St. Teresa says that this great king of glory has dis 
guised himself in the Sacrament under the species of 
bread, and that he has concealed his majesty to encour 
age us to approach his divine heart with greater confi 
dence. Let us, then, draw near to Jesus with great con- 
dence and affection; let us unite ourselves to him, and 
let us ask him for graces. 

Eternal Word made man, and present for my sake 
in this Sacrament, what joy should be mine now that I 
stand in Thy presence, who art my God, who art infinite 
majesty and infinite goodness, and hast so tender an 
affection for my soul ! Ye souls who love God, wherever 
you may be, either in heaven or on earth, love him for 
me also. Mary, my Mother, help me to love him. And 
Thou, most beloved Lord, make Thyself the object of 

1 "Surge, propera, arnica mea, columba mea, formosa mea, et 
veni." Cant. ii. 10. 

and to the Blessed Virgin. VIII. 145 

all my love. Make Thyself the Lord of my entire will; 
possess my entire self. I consecrate my whole mind to 
Thee, that it may always be occupied with the thought 
of Thy goodness; I also consecrate my body to Thee, 
that it may help me to please Thee; I consecrate my 
soul to Thee, that it may be all Thine. Would, O be 
loved of my soul, that all men could know the tender 
ness of the love which Thou bearest them, that all might 
live only to honor Thee and to please Thee, as Thou 
desirest and deservest. Grant that at least I may al 
ways live enamoured of Thy infinite beauty. From this 
day forward my desire is to do all that I can to be pleas 
ing to Thee. I now resolve to abandon everything, be 
it what it may, as soon as I perceive that it displeases 
Thee, however much it may cost me, even should it be 
necessary for this purpose to lose all, or even to lay 
down my life. Fortunate indeed shall I be, if I lose all 
to gain Thee, my God, my treasure, my love, my all ! 

Ejaculatory prayer. Jesus, my love, take all that I have; 
take full possession of me ! 

Spiritual Communion, page 124. 
Visit to the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

Whoever is a little one, let him come to me? Mary invites 
all children who need a mother to have recourse to her, 
as to the most loving of all mothers. The devout 
Nieremberg says, that the love of all mothers is a 
shadow in comparison with the love which Mary bears 
to each one of us. a My Mother, mother of my soul, thou 
who lovest me, and desirest my salvation more than any 
other after God, O Mother, " show thyself a Mother." 3 

Ejaculatory prayer. My Mother, grant that I may al 
ways remember thee ! 

"Si quis est parvulus, veniat ad me." Prov. ix. 4. 
* De Affect, erga B. V. c. 14. 
3 " Monstra te esse Matrerau" 

146 Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament 

[From the Naples Edition.] 
Prayer of St. Bernard. 

Sweet and amiable Mary, no one can pronounce thy name 
without feeling the greatest desire of loving thee ; and they who 
love thee cannot call thee to mind without being animated to 
love thee more. Pray for us to thy divine Son that he would 
vouchsafe to strengthen our weakness : no one is better entitled 
to speak in our favor to thy God and ours, than thyself, who art 
nearest to him. Intercede, then, for us, O blessed Mother, be 
cause thy Son hears thee, and thou canst obtain whatever thou 
askest. 1 

Ejacitlatory prayer. O Mary, obtain for me the grace to have 
continual recourse to thee. 

The usual prayer, page 125. 

To the Blessed Sacrament. 

My Lord Jesus Christ, page 123. 

St. John says that he saw our Lord girt up with a 
golden girdle, which supported his breasts: I saw the Son 
of Man girt about the paps with a golden girdle? Thus also 
is Jesus in the Sacrament of the Altar, with his breasts 
all filled with milk; that is to say, with the graces which, 
in his mercy, he desires to bestow upon us. And as a 
mother, whose breasts are overcharged with milk, goes 
about seeking for children who may draw it off, and re 
lieve her of its weight,* so also does he call out to us, 
You shall be carried at the breasts? 

The Venerable Father Alvarez saw Jesus in the Blessed 

1 Depr. ad g lor. V. 

9 " Vidi . . . prsecinctum ad mamillas zona aurea." Apoc. \. 12. 

3 "Ad ubera portabimini." Isa. Ixvi. 13. 

*St. Francis de Sales, in his treatise The Love of God, B. i, ch. 
15, uses the same comparison in explaining it, to show us that the di 
vine goodness takes greater pleasure in giving us his graces than we 
do in receiving them. Ep. 

and to the Blessed Virgin. IX. 147 

Sacrament with his hands filled with graces, and seeking 
to whom he might dispense them. Of St. Catharine of 
Sienna it is related, that when she approached the Most 
Holy Sacrament, she did so precisely with the same 
loving avidity with which a child flies to its mother s 

O most beloved and only-begotten Son of the Eternal 
Father, I know that Thou art the object most worthy of 
being loved. I desire to love Thee as much as Thou de- 
servest to be loved, or at least as much as a soul can ever 
desire to love Thee. I fully understand that I, who am 
a traitor, and so great a rebel to Thy love, deserve not 
to love Thee, neither do I deserve to approach Thee so 
near as I now am in this church. But I feel that Thou, 
for all this, seekest my love ; I hear Thee say, My son, 
give me thy heart. 1 Thou shall love the Lord thy God 
with thy whole heart? I understand that it is for this 
end that Thou hast spared my life, and not sent me to 
hell, that I might be converted and turn all my affections 
to Thee. Since, then, Thou art pleased that even I 
should love Thee, oh, yes, my God, I will do so. Behold 
me : to Thee I yield myself up ; I give myself to Thee ; 
I love Thee. O God ! all goodness, all love, I choose 
Thee for the only king and lord of my poor heart. Thou 
desirest it, and my will is to give it to Thee : it is cold, 
it is loathsome ; but if Thou acceptest it, Thou wilt 
change it. Change me, my Lord, change me ; I no 
longer have courage to live as I have hitherto done, un 
grateful, and with so little love towards Thy infinite 
goodness, which loves me so much, and deserves an in 
finite love. Enable me to supply from this day forward 
for all the love which I have hitherto failed to bear Thee. 

1 " Prrehe, filt mi, cor tuum mihi." Prov. xxiii. 26. 

2 " Diliges Dominum Deum tuum ex toto corde tuo." Matt. xxii. 

148 Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament 

Ejaculatory Prayer. My God, my God, I will love Thee, 
I will love Thee, I will love Thee ! 

Spiritual Communion, page 124. 
Visit to the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

In all things like to her Son Jesus is his Mother Mary; 
and as she is the Mother of mercy, she is thrice happy 
when she helps and consoles the miserable. So great is 
the desire of this Mother to bestow graces on all, that 
Bernardine de Bustis says, that " she desires more to do 
us good, and to impart to us graces, than we can desire 
to receive them." 

Ejaculatory prayer. Hail, our hope ! a 

[From the Naples Edition.] 

Prayer of St. John Damascene. 

Hail! Mary, the hope of Christians. Hear the petition of a 
sinner, who wishes to love tbee with the greatest tenderness, 
and to honor thee as thou deservest, and who reposes in thee, 
next to God, his hope of salvation. Being indebted to thee for 
the preservation of my life, I entreat thee to restore me to the 
grace of thy divine Son. Thou art the surest pledge of my sal 
vation ; deliver me, then, by thy prayers, from the heavy load 
of my sins. Disperse the darkness of my understanding ; ban 
ish every inordinate affection from my heart; repress the temp 
tations of my spiritual enemies, and so order my life that, under 
thy protection, I may arrive at eternal repose in heaven. 3 

Ejaculatory prayer. O my Mother, obtain for me the grace 
that I may always remember thee. 

The usual prayer, page 125. 

1 " Plus enim desiderat ipsa facere tibi bonum et largiri gratiam, 
quam tu accipere concupiscas." Mar. p. 2, s. 5. 

2 " Spes nostra ! salve." 

3 In Nat. B. M. V. s. I. 

and to the Blessed Virgin. X. 149 


To the Blessed Sacrament. 

My Lord Jesus Christ, etc., page 123. 

O foolish ones of the world, says St. Augustine, miser 
able creatures, where are you going to satisfy your hearts? 
Come to Jesus ; for by him alone can that pleasure which 
you seek be bestowed. " Unhappy creatures, whither 
are you going ? The good you seek for comes from 
him." 1 My soul, be not of the number of these foolish 
ones ; seek God alone : " seek for that one good in which 
are all good things." And if thou desirest soon to find 
him, behold, he is close to thee ; tell him what thou de 
sirest, since for this end it is that he is in the ciborium, to 
console thee, and to grant thy prayer. St. Teresa says 
that all are not allowed to speak to their king : the most 
that can be hoped for is to communicate with him through 
a third person. To converse with Thee, O King of glory, 
no third person is needed ; Thou art always ready in 
the Sacrament of the Altar to give audience to all. All 
who desire Thee always find Thee there, and converse 
with Thee face to face. And even if any one at length 
succeeds in speaking with a king, how many difficulties 
has he had to overcome before he can do so ! Kings 
grant audiences only a few times in the year ; but Thou, 
in this Sacrament, grantest audience to all night and 
day, and whenever we please. 

Sacrament of love, Thou who, whether Thou givest 
Thyself in the Communion, or dwellest on the altar, 
knowest, by the tender attractions of Thy love, how to 
draw so many hearts to Thyself, who, enamoured of 

1 " Miseri, quo itis ? Bonum quod amatis, ab illo est." Conf. 1. 4, 

C. 12. 

9 " Ama unum bonum, in quo sunt omnia bona." Man. c. 34, 

1 50 Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament 

Thee, and filled with amazement at the sight of such 
love, burn with joy, and think always of Thee ; draw also 
my miserable heart to Thyself ; for it desires to love 
Thee, and to live enslaved by Thy love. For my part, 
I now and henceforward place all my interests, all my 
hopes, and all my affections, my soul, my body, I place 
all in the hands of Thy goodness. Accept me, O Lord, 
and dispose of me as Thou pleasest. I will never again 
complain, O my love, of Thy holy dispensations ; I know 
that, as they all take their source in Thy loving heart, 
they all will be full of love, and for my good. It is 
enough for me to know that Thou wiliest them ; I will 
them also in time and in eternity. Do all that Thou 
wiliest in me and with me ; I unite my entire self to Thy 
will, which is all holy, all good, all beautiful, all perfect, 
all loving. O will of my God, how dear art thou to me ! 
My will is ever to live and die united to and bound up 
with Thee. Thy pleasure is my pleasure. I will that 
Thy desires shall also be my desires. My God, my God, 
help me ; make me henceforward live for Thee alone ; 
make me will only what Thou wiliest, and make me live 
only to love Thy amiable will. Grant that I may die 
for Thy love, since Thou hast died and become food for 
me. I curse those days in which I did my own will, so 
much to Thy displeasure. I love thee, O will of God, 
as much as I love God, since thou art one with him. I 
love Thee, then, with my whole heart, and give myself 
all to Thee. 

Ejaculatory prayer. O will of God, thou art my love ! 

Spiritual Communion, page 124. 
Visit to the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

The great Queen says, With me are riches . . . that I 
may enrich them that love me} Let us love Mary, if we 

1 " Mecum sunt divitise, . . . ut ditem diligentes me." Prov, 
xviii. 8. 

and to the Blessed Virgin. XL 1 5 1 

would be rich in graces. The writer who calls himself 
" the Idiot" styles her " the treasurer of graces." * Blessed 
is he who has recourse to Mary with love and confidence. 
My Mother, my hope, thou canst make me a saint; from 
thee I hope for this favor. 

Ejaculatory prayer. Mother most amiable, pray for me ! 2 

[From the Naples Edition.] 

Prayer of St. Andrew of Jeriisalem. 

Hail ! Mary, full of grace : the Lord is with thee. Hail ! 
source of our joy. Through thee, as the Mother of Jesus, the 
sentence of our condemnation has been revoked, and changed 
into a judgment of benediction. Hail, temple of the Deity s 
glory, sacred dwelling of the King of Heaven ; thou art the 
reconciliation of God with man. Hail, Mother of our bliss; 
thou art truly blessed, because thou wast the only one amongst 
women found worthy to be the Mother of thy Creator. All 
nations call thee blessed. 3 If I place my confidence in thee I 
shall be saved. Under thy protection I have nothing to fear, 
because, in being devoted to thee, I hold in my hand the most 
assured arms of salvation, which the Almighty grants only to 
those whom he wishes in a special manner to save. 

Ejaculatory Prayer. We fly to thy protection, O sacred 
Mother of God ! 

The usual prayer, page 125. 

To the Blessed Sacrament. 

My Lord Jesus Christ, etc., page 123. 

" Let us be careful," says St. Teresa, " never to be at a 
distance from Jesus our beloved Shepherd, nor to lose 
sight of him; for the sheep which are near their shep- 

1 "Thesaurus gratiarum." Cont. de V. AT. c. i. 
9 "Mater amabilis! ora pro me." 

3 In S. Deip. Ann. 

4 " Sub tuum presidium confugimus, sancta Dei genetrix 1" 

152 Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament 

herd are always more caressed and better fed, and 
always receive some choice morsels of that which he 
himself eats. If by chance the shepherd sleeps, still the 
lamb remains near him, and either waits until h ; s slum 
ber ends, or itself awakens him; and it is then caressed 
with new favors." 

My Redeemer, present in this Most Holy Sacrament, 
behold me near Thee: the only favor which I ask of 
Thee is, fervor and perseverance in Thy love. I thank 
thee, O holy faith; for thou teachest and assurest me 
that in the divine Sacrament of the Altar, in that 
heavenly bread, bread does not exist; but that my Lord 
Jesus Christ is all there, and that he is there for love of 
me. My Lord and my all, I believe that Thou art pres 
ent in the Most Holy Sacrament; and though unknown 
to eyes of flesh, by the light of holy faith I discern Thee 
in the consecrated Host, as the monarch of heaven and 
earth, and as the Saviour of the world. Ah, my most 
sweet Jesus! as Thou art my hope, my salvation, my 
strength, my consolation, so also I will that Thou 
shouldst be all my love, and the only subject of all 
my thoughts, of my desires, and of my affections. I re 
joice more in the supreme happiness which Thou en- 
joyest, and wilt enjoy forever, than in any good thing 
which I could ever have in time or in eternity. My 
supreme satisfaction is, that Thou, my beloved Re 
deemer, art supremely happy, and that Thy happiness 
is infinite. Reign, reign, my Lord, over my whole soul; 
I give it all to Thee; do Thou ever possess it. May my 
will, my senses, and my faculties be all servants of Thy 
love, and may they never in this world serve for any 
thing else than to give Thee satisfaction and glory. 
Such was thy life, O first lover and Mother of my Jesus! 
Most holy Mary, do thou help me; do thou obtain for 
me the grace to live henceforward, as thou didst always 
live, in the happiness of belonging to God alone. 

and to the Blessed Virgin. XL 153 

Ejaculatory prayer. My Jesus, may I be all Thine, and 
be Thou all mine! 

Spiritual Communion, page 1 24. 
Visit to the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

Blessed is the man . . . that watcheth daily at my gates, 
and waitetJi at the posts of my doors. 1 Blessed is he who, 
like the poor who stand before the gates of the rich, is 
careful to seek for the alms of graces before the doors of 
the mercy of Mary! And thrice blessed is he who more 
over seeks to imitate the virtues whicli he remarks in 
Mary, and more especially her purity and humility! 

Ejaculatory prayer. My hope, help me! 

[From the Naples Edition.] 
Prayer of Si. Andrew of Crete or of Jerusalem. 

Mother of mercy ! appease the anger of thy Son. Whilst thou 
wast upon earth, thou didst occupy only a small portion of it: 
but being now seated in the highest heavens, we look up to thee 
as the general mediatrix of all nations. We entreat thee, O 
sacred Virgin ! to grant us the assistance of thy prayers, which 
are more desirable and more precious than all the treasures of 
the earth. Thy prayers move the Almighty to pardon our sins, 
and obtain for us the most abundant graces, to enable us to 
practise the virtues of a Christian life; they arrest the progress 
of our enemies, frustrate their designs, and triumph over the 
efforts of their malice. 2 

Ejaculatory prayer. Mary! thou art my consolation, and, 
after Jesus, the foundation of my hope. 8 

The usual prayer, page 125. 

1 " Beatus homo . . . qui vigilat ad fores meas quotidie, et observat 
ad posies ostii mei." Prov. viii. 34. 

* In Dorm. S. M. s. 3. 

3 " Haec tola mea fiducia, haec tola ratio spei mete." S. Bern. De 
A quad. 

1 54 Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament 

To the Blessed Sacrament. 

My Lord Jesus Christ, etc., page 123. 

God is charity ; and he that abideth in charity, abideth in 
God, and God in him. 1 He who loves Jesus dwells with 
Jesus, and Jesus with him. If any one love Me . . . My 
Father will love him; and We will come to him, and will 
make Our abode with him? When St. Philip Neri received 
the Holy Communion as Viaticum, on seeing the Most 
Blessed Sacrament enter his room, he exclaimed: "Be 
hold my love! behold my love!" Let each one of us, then, 
say, here in the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacra 
ment: Behold my love! behold the object of all my love 
for my whole life and for all eternity! 

Since, then, my Lord and my God, Thou hast said in 
the Gospel that he who loves Thee will be beloved by 
Thee, and that Thou wilt come and dwell in him, and 
never more leave him, I love Thee above every other 
good: do Thou, then, also love me; for I, indeed, esteem 
being loved by Thee above all the kingdoms of the 
world. Come and fix Thy dwelling in the poor house of 
my soul in such a way that Thou mayest no more depart 
from me ; or rather, so that I may never more drive 
Thee from me. Thou dost not go, if Thou art not ex 
pelled; but as I have already done this, so I might do 
again, Ah, never allow such a fresh act of wickedness, 
such horrible ingratitude, to be perpetrated in the world, 
as that I, who have been so especially favored by Thee, 
and who have received so many graces, should again 
drive Thee from my soul ! But this might happen. I 

1 " Deus charitas est; et qui manet in charitate in Deo manet, et 
Deus in eo." i John, iv. 16. 

2 " Si quis diligit me, . . . et Pater meus diligit eum; et ad eum 
veniemus, et mansionem apud eum faciemus." John, xiv. 23. 

and to the Blessed Virgin. XI L 155 

therefore, my Lord, desire death, if it so pleases Thee ; 
that by dying united to Thee, I may live united to Thee 
forever. Yes, my Jesus ; for this I hope. I embrace 
Thee ; I press Thee to my poor heart; grant that I 
may always love Thee, and always be beloved by Thee. 
Yes, my most amiable Redeemer, I will always love 
Thee; and Thou wilt always love me. I trust that our 
love will ever be mutual, O God of my soul, and this for 
all eternity. Amen. 

Ejaculatory prayer. My Jesus, I desire always to love 
Thee, and always to be beloved by Thee. 

Spiritual Communion, page 124. 
Visit to the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

They that work by me shall not sin. 1 He, says Mary, who 
endeavors to honor me shall persevere to the end. They 
that explain me shall have life everlasting y 2 and those 
who endeavor to make me known and loved by others 
will be of the number of the elect. Promise, then, that 
whenever you can, be it in public or in private, you will 
speak of the glories of Mary, and of devotion to her. 

Ejaculatory prayer. Vouchsafe that I may praise Thee, 
most sacred Virgin ! 3 

[According- to the Naples Edition.] 

Prayer of St. Ildefonsus. 

my Sovereign, and Mother of my God, thou art blessed 
amongst all women, pure amongst all virgins, and queen of all the 
heavenly host; all nations pronounce thee blessed. Vouchsafe 
that I may publish as much as possible thy greatness, that I 
may love thee to the utmost of my power, and that I may serve 
thee with all the capacity of my soul. 

Ejaculatory prayer. Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O 
blessed Virgin. 3 

The usual prayer, page 125. 

1 " Qui operanturin me non peccabunt." Eclus. xxiv. 30. 
^ " Oui elucidant me, vitamaeternam habebunt." Ibid. 31. 
3 " Dignare me laudare te, Virgo sacrata !" 

156 Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament 

To the Blessed Sacrament. 

My Lord Jesus Christ, etc., page 123. 

My eyes and my heart shall be there always? Behold, 
Jesus has verified this beautiful promise in the Sacra 
ment of the Altar, wherein he dwells with us night and 

My Lord, would it not have been enough hadst Thou 
remained in this Sacrament only during the day, when 
Thou couldst have had adorers of Thy presence to keep 
Thee company; but why remain also the whole night, 
when the churches are all closed, and when men retire to 
their homes, leaving Thee quite alone ? Ah, yes ! I al 
ready understand Thee: love has made Thee our prisoner; 
the excessive love which Thou bearest us has so bound 
Thee down on earth, that neither night nor day canst 
Thou leave us. Ah, most amiable Saviour, this refine 
ment of love alone should oblige all men ever to stay 
with Thee in the sacred ciboriums, and to remain with 
Thee until forcibly compelled to leave Thee; and when 
they do so, they should all leave at the foot of the altar 
their hearts and affections inflamed with love towards an 
Incarnate God, who remains alone and enclosed in a 
tabernacle, all eyes to see and provide for them in their 
necessities, and all heart to love them, and who awaits 
the coming day to be again visited by his beloved souls. 

Yes, my Jesus, I will please Thee; I consecrate my 
whole will and all my affections to Thee. O infinite Ma 
jesty of God, Thou hast left Thyself in this divine Sac 
rament, not only that Thou mightest be present with us 
and near us, but principally to communicate Thyself to 
Thy beloved souls. But, Lord, who will presume to ap- 

1 "Et erunt oculi mei et cor meum ibi cunctis diebus." 3 Kings, 
ix. 3. 

and to the Blessed Virgin. XI I L 157 

proach Thee to feed upon Thy flesh ? and who, on the 
other hand, can keep at a distance from Thee ? For this 
purpose Thou concealest Thyself in the consecrated Host, 
that Thou mayest enter into us and possess our hearts. 
Thou burnest with the desire of being received by us, 
and Thou rejoicest in being there united with us. Come, 
then, my Jesus, come ; I desire to receive Thee within 
myself, that Thou mayest be the God of my heart and 
of my will. All that is within me I yield, my dear Re 
deemer, to Thy love; satisfactions, pleasures, self-will, all 
I give up to Thee. O Love, O God of love, reign, 
triumph over my entire self ; destroy and sacrifice all 
in me which is mine and not Thine. Permit not, O my 
Love, that my soul, which, having received Thee in the 
Holy Communion, is filled with the Majesty of God, 
should again attach itself to creatures. I love Thee, 
my God, I love Thee; and I will love Thee alone and 

Ejaculatory prayer. Draw me by the chains of Thy 
love ! 1 

Spiritual Communion, page 125. 
Visit to the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

St. Bernard exhorts us, saying: " Let us seek for grace, 
and let us seek it by Mary." 2 " She," says St. Peter 
Damian, " is the treasure of divine graces." 3 She can en 
rich us, and she desires to do so. She therefore invites 
and calls us, saying: Whosoever is a little one, let him come 
to me." Most amiable Lady, most exalted Lady, most 
gracious Lady, look on a poor sinner who recommends 
himself to Thee, and who places all his confidence in 

"Trahe me vinculis amoris tui." 

"Quseramus gratiam et per Mariam quaeramus." De Aquad. 
"Thesaurus divinarum gratiarum." 
4 " Si quis est parvulus, veniat ad me." Prov. ix. 4. 

158 Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament 

Ejaculatory prayer. We fly to thy patronage, O holy 
Mother of God ! 

[From the Naples Edition.] 
Prayer of St. Ildefonsus. 

Most humble handmaid of thy divine Son ! I prostrate myself 
before thee, conjuring thee to obtain pardon of my sins, that I 
may be cleansed from all the imperfections of my life. I entreat 
thee to procure me the grace of being always united to God and 
to thee, and to be ever a faithful servant of thy Son and oi 
thee : of thy Son, as my Lord and my Redeemer ; and of thee, 
as the cause of my redemption : for if he has paid the price ol 
my redemption, it was with the body which he received from 
thee. 3 

Ejaculatory prayer. O Mary! obtain for me confidence in thy 
intercession, and the grace that I may continually have recourse 
to thee. 

The usual prayer, page 125. 

To the Blessed Sacrament. 

My Lord Jesus Christ, etc., page 123. 

Most amiable Jesus, I hear Thee say from this taber 
nacle in which Thou art present, This is my rest forever and 
ever; here will I dwell, for I have chosen it? Since, then, 
Thou hast chosen Thy dwelling on our altars in the 
midst of us, remaining there in the Most Holy Sacrament, 
and since Thy love for us makes Thee there find Thy re 
pose, it is but just that our hearts also should ever 
dwell with Thee in affection, and should find all pleasure 
and repose in Thee. Blessed are you, O loving souls, 
who can find no sweeter repose in the world than in re 
maining near to your Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament ! 
And blessed should I be, my Lord, did I from this time 

1 " Sub tuum presidium confugimus, sancta Dei genitrix !" 

2 De Virg.perp. S. M. c. 12. 

3 " Haec requies mea in saeculum sseculi ; hie habitabo, quoniam 
elegi earn." Ps. cxxxi. 14. 

and to the Blessed Virgin. XIV. 159 

forward find no greater delight than in remaining always 
in Thy presence, or in always thinking of Thee, who in 
the Most Holy Sacrament art always thinking of me and 
of my welfare. 

Ah, my Lord ! and why have I lost so many years, in 
which I have not loved Thee ? O miserable years, I 
curse you; and I bless Thee, O infinite patience of my 
God, for having for so many years borne with me, though 
so ungrateful to Thy love. And still, notwithstanding 
this ingratitude, Thou waitest for me: and why, my God, 
why ? It is, that one day, overcome by Thy mercies and 
by Thy love, I may yield wholly to Thee. Lord, I will 
no longer resist, I will no longer be ungrateful. It is 
but just that I should consecrate to Thee the time, be it 
long or short, which I have still to live. I hope for Thy 
help, O my Jesus, to become entirely Thine. Thou 
didst favor me so much when I fled from Thee and de 
spised Thy love; how much more may I now hope that 
Thou wilt favor me, now that I seek and desire to love 
Thee ! Give me, then, the grace to love Thee, O God, 
worthy of infinite love. I love Thee with my whole heart; 
I love Thee above all things; I love Thee more than my 
self, more than my life. I am sorry for having offended 
Thee, O infinite goodness : pardon me ; and with Thy 
pardon grant me the grace to love Thee much in 
this life until death, and in the next life for all eternity. 
O Almighty God, show the world the greatness of Thy 
power, in the prodigy of a soul ungrateful as mine has 
been becoming one of Thy greatest lovers. Do this by 
Thy merits, my Jesus. It is my ardent desire, and I re 
solve thus to love Thee during my whole life: do Thou, 
who inspires! me with this desire, give me also the 
strength to accomplish it. 

Ejaculatory prayer. My Jesus, I thank Thee for having 
waited for me until now ! 

160 Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament 

Spiritual Communion, page 124. 
Visit to the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

St. Germanus, addressing the Most Blessed Virgin 
Mary, says: " No one is saved but through thee ; no 
one is delivered from evils but through thee; there 
is no one on whom any gift is bestowed but through 
thee." Therefore, my Lady and my hope, if thou dost 
not help me I am lost, and shall be unable to bless thee 
in heaven. But, Lady, I hear all the saints say that thou 
never abandonest those who have recourse to thee. He 
only is lost who has not recourse to thee. I, then, mis 
erable creature that I am, have recourse to thee, and in 
thee place all my hopes. 

Ejaculatory prayer, in the words of St. Bernard. Mary is 
my whole confidence ; she is the whole ground of my 
hope ! 2 

[From the Naples Edition.] 
Prayer of St. Anselm. 

We entreat thee, most Sacred Virgin, by that fulness of grace, 
whereby thou wast elevated to the highest degree of dignity 
and glory which a pure creature can possibly attain, that thou 
wouldst procure for us a fellowship with thee in glory. Pray 
for us, that we may obtain that happiness, to purchase which 
for us God vouchsafed to become man in thy immaculate womb. 
Be not deaf to our supplications ; whatever thou askest of thy 
Son, he will grant to us : if thou desirest our salvation, and 
prayest for it, we are sure to be saved. But if thou dost shut 
the bowels of thy mercy against us ; if thou, who art the 
Mother of clemency, dost not take pity on us, what will be our 
lot when thy Son shall appear in judgment ? 

Ejaculatory prayer. O Mary ! behold our danger, and have 

compassion on us. 

The usual prayer, page 125. 

1 " Nullus est qui salvus fiat, nisi per te ; nemo qui liberetur a 
malis, nisi per te ; nemo cui donum concedatur, nisi per te." De 
Zona Deip. ap. Sur. 31 Aug. 

2 " Haec tota mea fiducia, haec tota ratio spei meae." S. Bern. De 

and to the Blessed Virgin. XV 161 


To the Blessed Sacrament. 

My Lord Jesus Christ, etc., page 123. 

/ am come to cast fire on the earth; and what will I but 
that it be kindled? Father Francis Olimpio, the Theatine, 
used to say that there was nothing on earth which en 
kindled so ardent flames of divine love in the hearts of 
men as the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Hence 
our Lord showed himself to St. Catharine of Sienna in 
this Blessed Sacrament as a furnace of love, from which 
issued forth torrents of divine flames, spreading them 
selves over the whole earth : so much so, indeed, that 
the saint, in perfect astonishment, wondered how it was 
possible that men could live without burning with love 
for such love on the part of God towards them. 

My Jesus, make me burn with the desire of Thee ; 
grant that all my thoughts, and sighs, and desires, and 
seekings, may be for Thee alone. Oh, happy should I 
be, did this Thy heavenly fire fully possess me, and as I 
advance in years, gradually consume all earthly affections 
in me ! 

divine Word ! O my own Jesus ! I see Thee all 
sacrificed, all annihilated, and so to say destroyed on the 
altar, for my love. It is, then, but right that, as Thou 
sacrificest Thyself as a victim of love for me, I at least 
should consecrate myself wholly to Thee. Yes, my God 
and my sovereign Lord, I now sacrifice to Thee my whole 
soul, my entire self, my whole will and my whole life. 
I unite this poor sacrifice of mine, O Eternal Father, to 
the infinite sacrifice of himself which Jesus, Thy Son and 
my Saviour, once offered to Thee on the cross, and which 

1 " Ignem veni mittere in terrain ; et quid volo, nisi ut accendatur?" 
Luke, xii. 49. 


1 62 Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament 

he now offers to Thee so many times every day on our 
altars. Accept it, then, through the merits of Jesus; 
and grant me the grace to renew it every day of my life, 
and to die sacrificing my whole self to Thy honor. I de 
sire the grace granted to so many martyrs, to die for 
Thy love. But if I am unworthy of so great a grace, 
grant at least, my Lord, that I may sacrifice my life to 
Thee, together with my entire will, by accepting the 
death which Thou sendest me. Lord, I desire this 
grace ; I desire to die with the intention of honoring and 
pleasing Thee thereby : and from this moment I sacrifice 
my life to Thee ; and I offer Thee my death, when or 
wheresoever it may take place. 

Ejaculatory prayer. My Jesus, I desire to die in order 
to please Thee ! 

Spiritual Communion, page 124. 
Visit to the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

Allow me also, my most sweet Queen, to call thee, 
with thine own St. Bernard, " the whole ground of my 
hope," 1 and to say with St. John Damascene, " I have 
placed my whole hope in thee." 2 Thou hast to obtain 
for me the forgiveness of my sins ; thou, perseverance 
until death ; thou, deliverance from purgatory. All who 
are saved obtain salvation through thee : thou, then, O 
Mary, hast to save me : " He will be saved whom thou 
wiliest." 3 Will, then, my salvation, and I shall be saved. 
But thou savest all who invoke thee ; behold, then, I in 
voke thee, and say : 

Ejaculatory prayer. O salvation of those who invoke 
Thee, save me !* 

1 " Tota ratio spei mese." De Aquad. 

2 " Totam spem meam in te collocavi." Carmina. 

3 " Quern vis, salvuserit. " Cant, post Psalt. 

4 " O Salus te invocantium, salva me !" 

and to the Blessed Virgin. XVI. 163 

[From the Naples Edition.] 

Prayer of St. Anselm. 

Help us, O Queen of mercy ! without regarding the multitude 
of our sins. Remember, that our Creator assumed from thee 
a human body, not to condemn, but to save sinners. Hadst 
thou been chosen to be the Mother of God for thy own benefit 
alone, thou mightest then be said to have no particular interest 
in our salvation ; but God clothed himself in thy form for the 
sake of all mankind. Help us, therefore, and protect us : thou 
knovvest the need which we have of thy assistance, and we ear 
nestly recommend ourselves to thy prayers. Pray that we may 
not be eternally lost, but with thee may serve and love Jesus 
Christ forever. 1 

The usual prayer, page 125. 

To the Blessed Sacrament. 

My Lord Jesus Christ, etc., page 123. 

Had men but always recourse to the Most Blessed 
Sacrament to seek from it the remedy for their ills, they 
certainly would not be so miserable as they are. The 
prophet Jeremias, lamenting, exclaimed: Is there no balm 
in Galaad? or is there no physician there? i Galaad, a 
mountain of Arabia, rich in aromatical spices, accord 
ing to venerable Bede, is a figure of Jesus Christ, who in 
this Sacrament keeps in readiness all the remedies for 
our woes. Why, then, our Redeemer seems to ask, do 
you complain of your misfortunes, O sons of Adam, when 
you have the physician and the remedy for them all in 
this Sacrament ? Come to Me, and I will refresh you* I 
will, then, address Thee in the words of the sisters of 
Lazarus: Behold, he whom Thou loves t is sick* Lord, I am 

1 De Excell. B. M. c. 12. 

2 " Numquid resina non est in Galaad? aut medicus non est ibi?" 
Jer. viii. 22. 

" Venite ad me omnes . . . et ego reficiam vos." Matt. xi. 28. 
4 " Ecce, quem amas, infirmatur." John, xi. 3. 

164 Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament 

that miserable creature whom Thou lovest; my soul is 
all wounded by the sins which I have committed; my 
divine physician, I come to Thee, that Thou mayest heal 
me; if Thou wilt, Thou canst cure me: Heal my soul; for 
I have sinned against Thee. 1 Draw me wholly to Thyself, 
my most sweet Jesus, by the all-winning attractions of 
Thy love. Far rather would I be bound to Thee than 
become the Lord of the whole earth. I desire nothing 
else in the world but to love Thee. I have but little to 
give Thee; but could I gain possession of all the king 
doms of the world, I would do so, that I might renounce 
them all for Thy love. For Thee, then, I renounce what 
I can; I give up all relatives, all comforts, all pleasures, 
and even spiritual consolations: for Thee I renounce my 
liberty and my will. On Thee I desire to bestow all my 
love. I love Thee, infinite goodness; I love Thee more 
than myself, and I hope to love Thee for all eternity. 

Ejaculatory prayer. My Jesus, I give myself to Thee: do 
Thou accept me ! 

Spiritual Communion, page 124. 
Visit to the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

My Lady, though didst say to St, Bridget: How 
ever much a man sins, if he returns to me with a real 
purpose of amendment, I am instantly ready to welcome 
him: neither do I pay attention to the greatness of his 
sins, but to the intention alone with which he comes. I 
do not disdain to anoint and heal his wounds; for I am 
called, and truly am, the Mother of mercy." 2 Since, 
then, thou hast both the power and the will to heal me, 

1 " Sana animam meam quia peccavi tibi." Ps. xl. 5. 

8 " Quantumcumque homo peccet, si ex vera emendatione ad me 
reversus fuerit. statim parata sum recipere revertentem; nee attendo 
quantum peccaverit, sed cum quali voluntate venit: nam non dedig- 
nor ejus plagas ungere et sanare, quia vocor (et vere sum) Mater 
misericordiae." Rev. 1. 2, c. 23; et 1. 6, c. 117. 

and to the Blessed Virgin. XV I L 165 

behold, I have recourse to thee, O heavenly physician; 
heal the many wounds of my soul: with a single word 
addressed by thee to thy Son I shall be restored. 
Ejaculatory prayer. O Mary, have pity on me ! 

[From the Naples Edition.] 
Prayer of St. Peter Damian. 

O holy Virgin ! come to the assistance of those who call upon 
thee : cast a look of pity on us. Hast thou, in the close alliance 
thou holdest with the Deity, forgotten thy fellow-creatures? 
Ah ! certainly not. Thou knowest too well the misery of our 
condition, and the dangers to which we are exposed, and it would 
ill become clemency and compassion like thine to forget us. 
Exert thy influence in our behalf. Nothing is impossible to thee, 
and thou canst, by thy prayers, obtain for the most grievous 
sinner, the sweet hope of salvation. The greater thy power is, 
the greater ought also to be thy mercy. 1 

Ejaculatory prayer. O Mary! thou canst by thy intercession 
cleanse me from my sins, and I look for this favor from thee. 
The usual prayer, page 125. 

To the Blessed Sacrament. 

My Lord Jesus Christ, etc., page 123. 

Loving souls can find no greater delight than to be in 
the company of those whom they love. If we, then, love 
Jesus Christ much, behold we are now in his presence. 
Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament sees us and hears us : 
shall we, then, say nothing to him ? Let us console our 
selves in his company; let us rejoice in his glory, and in 
the love which so many enamoured souls bear him in the 
Most Holy Sacrament. Let us desire that all should 
love Jesus in the Holy Sacrament, and consecrate their 
hearts to him; at least let us consecrate all our affections 
to him. He should be all our love and our whole desire. 
1 In Nat. B. M. V. s. I. 

1 66 Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament 

Father Salesius, of the Society of Jesus, felt consolation 
in only speaking of the Most Blessed Sacrament; he 
could never visit it enough. When called to the parlor, 
on returning to his room, when going about the house, 
he always profited by these occasions to repeat his visits 
to his beloved Lord; so much so, that it was remarked 
that scarcely an hour of the day passed without his visit 
ing him. At length he obtained the favor to die by the 
hands of heretics while defending the truth of the real 
presence in the Blessed Sacrament. 

Oh, had I but the happiness to die for so noble a cause 
as the defence of this Sacrament, in which, O most ami 
able Jesus, Thou hast taught us the tenderness of the love 
which Thou bearest us ! But since, my Lord, Thou 
workest so many miracles in this Sacrament, work this 
one also: draw my entire self to Thee. Thou indeed 
desirest that I should be all Thine, and Thou dost also 
indeed deserve that I should be so. Give me the strength 
to love Thee with all the affection of my soul. Give the 
goods of this world to whomsoever Thou wiliest. I re 
nounce them all : I sigh after and desire Thy love 
alone; this alone do I now and will always seek. I love 
Thee, my Jesus; grant me the grace always to love Thee, 
and grant me this alone. 

Ejaculatory prayer. My Jesus, when shall I really love 

Spiritual Communion, page 124. 
Visit to the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

My most sweet Queen, how pleasing to me is that 
beautiful name by which thy devout clients address thee: 
"Most amiable Mother!" 1 Yes, my Lady, thou art 
truly and indeed amiable. Thy beauty has captivated 
thy Lord himself : And the king shall greatly desire thy 

1 " Mater amabilis." 

and to the Blessed Virgin. XV I L 167 

beauty. 1 St. Bernard says that thy very name is so ami 
able to thy lovers, that when they pronounce or hear it 
they are inflamed with a fresh desire to love thee: "O 
sweet, O pious, O exceedingly amiable Mary ! Thou 
canst not be named without inflaming, neither can thy 
name be heard without enkindling, the affections of those 
who love thee." 2 It is, then, reasonable, my most ami 
able Mother, that I should love thee. But I am not sat 
isfied with only loving thee: I desire in the first place on 
earth, and then in heaven, to be, after God, thy greatest 
lover. If my desire is presumptuous, it is thou thyself 
who art to blame, on account of thy amiability, and the 
special love which thou hast shown me. If thou wert 
less amiable, my desire to love thee would be less. Ac 
cept, then, O Lady, this my desire; and in token that 
thou hast accepted it, do thou obtain me from God this 
love for which I ask thee, since he is so well pleased with 
the love which is borne thee. 

Ejaculatory prayer. My most amiable Mother, I love 
thee much. 

[From the Naples Edition.] 
Prayer of St. D ami an. 

Mother of God ! cast upon us one look of compassion. I 
know that thou art full of goodness, and that thou lovest us in 
a measure that surpasses all other love. How often dost thou 
appease the anger of our Judge, when the hand of his justice is 
raised to strike us? All the treasures of mercy are in thy 
hands, and thou seekest every opportunity to save miserable 
sinners and to make them partakers of thy glory. Ah ! never 
cease to interest thyself in our regard, that we may one day ar 
rive at the happiness of seeing Thee in heaven ; as the greatest 
good that we can enjoy, next to that of seeing God, is to see 
thee, to love thee, and to be under thy protection. Since thy 

1 " Concupivit Rex speciem tuam." Ps. xliv. 12. 

2 " O dulcis, o pia, o multum amabilis Maria ! tu nee nominari 
potes, quin accendas, nee cogitari, quin recrees affectus diligentium 
\.e. n Spec. B. V. 0.9. 

1 68 Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament 

Son desires to honor thee by refusing nothing that thou askest, 
hear our prayer, and intercede in our behalf. 1 

Ejaculatory prayer. O Mary ! I love thee as the most amiable 
of the works of God, and place my confidence in thee. 
The usual prayer, page 125. 

To the Blessed Sacrament. 

My Lord Jesus Christ, etc., page 123. 

One day Jesus will be seated on a throne of majesty 
in the valley of Josaphat ; but now, in the Most Blessed 
Sacrament, he is seated on a throne of love. Did a king, 
to show his love for a poor shepherd, go and live in his 
village, how great would be the ingratitude of this peas 
ant did he not often go to visit him, knowing the king s 
wish to see him, and that for this purpose he had come 
to reside there ! 

Ah, my Jesus, for love of me Thou dwellest in the 
Sacrament of the Altar. Could I, then, do so, my desire 
would be to remain night and day in Thy presence. If 
the angels, O my Lord, filled with astonishment at the 
love which Thou bearest us, remain always around Thee, 
it is but reasonable that I, seeing Thee for my sake on 
this altar, should endeavor to please Thee, at least by re 
maining in Thy presence, to praise the love and goodness 
which Thou hast for me: I will sing praise to Thee in the 
sight of the angels; I will worship towards Thy holy temple, 
and I will give glory to Thy name : for Thy mercy and for 
Thy truth? 

God, present in this Most Holy Sacrament, O bread 
of angels, O heavenly food, I love Thee; but Thou art 
not, neither am I, satisfied with my love. I love Thee ; 

1 In Nat. B. V. M. s. I. 

2 "In conspectu Angelorum psallam tibi, adorabo ad templum 
sanctum tuum, et confitebor nomini tuo, super misericordia tua et 
veritate tua." Ps. cxxxvii. I. 2. 

and to the Blessed Virgin. XVI I L 169 

but I love Thee too little. Do Thou, my Jesus, make 
known to me the beauty, the immense goodness which I 
love: make my heart banish from itself all earthly affec 
tions, and give place to Thy divine love. To fill me with 
Thy love, and to unite Thyself all to me, Thou de- 
scendest every day from heaven on our altars: it is, then, 
but just that I should think of nothing else but of lov 
ing, adoring, and pleasing Thee. I love Thee with my 
whole soul, I love Thee with all my affections. If Thou 
art graciously pleased to make me a return for this love, 
increase my love; render its flames more ardent; that 
thus I may always love Thee more, and desire more and 
more to please Thee. 

Ejaculatory prayer. Jesus, my love, give me love ! 

Spiritual Communion, page 124. 
Visit to the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

As poor sick persons, who on account of their miseries 
are abandoned by all, find shelter in the public hospitals; 
so also do the most miserable sinners, who, although dis 
carded by all, find protection in the mercy of Mary, by 
whom they are never rejected; for God has placed her in 
the world as a receptacle and as a public hospital for 
sinners, as Si. Basil of Seleucia gives us to understand. 1 
Hence St. Ephrem also calls her " the asylum of sinners." : 
Therefore, my Queen, if I have recourse to thee, thou 
canst not reject me on account of my sins; nay, even the 
more wretched I am, the greater is the claim which I have 
upon thy protection, since God has created thee as the 
refuge of the most miserable. Therefore to thee I have 
recourse, O Mary ; I place myself under thy mantle. 
Thou art the refuge of sinners; thou art, then, my refuge, 
the hope of my salvation. If thou reject me, to whom 
shall I have recourse? 

Ejaculatory prayer. Mary, my refuge, save me ! 

1 " Aperuit Deus peccatoribus publicum valetudinarium." 

2 " Diversorium peccatorum." De Laud. Dei Gen. 

1 70 Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament 

[From the Naples Edition.] 

Prayer of St. Bernard. 

sovereign queen ! on thee the Almighty has bestowed the 
perfection of all graces. Thou art styled full of grace, because 
the Holy Ghost has given it to thee in its greatest plenitude. 
We entreat thee to impart to us a portion of the fulness which 
thou hast received. Remember our necessities, and hear our 
prayers. Make us partakers of the riches and abundance which 
thou possessest. All nations call thee blessed ; the whole hier 
archy of heaven sings thy praises, and we, who are upon earth, 
cry out to thee. Receive our homage, O full of grace ! Mother 
of God, our sovereign and our queen, the Lord is with thee ; 
make intercession for us. 1 

Ejaculatory prayer. O Mary ! look down upon us, and draw 
our hearts to God. 

The usual prayer, page 125. 

To the Blessed Sacrament. 

My Lord Jesus Christ, etc., page 123. 

It is sweet to every one to be in the company of a 
dear friend; and shall we not find it sweet, in this valley 
of tears, to remain in the company of the best friend we 
have, and who can do us every kind of good; who loves 
us with the most tender affection, and therefore dwells 
always with us ? Behold, in the Most Blessed Sacrament 
we can converse at pleasure with Jesus, we can op-^n our 
hearts to him, we can lay our wants before him, and we 
can ask him for his graces; in a word, in this Sacrament 
we can treat with the King of Heaven, in all confidence 
and without restraint. Joseph was only too happy when, 
as the sacred Scripture tells us, God descended by his 
grace into his prison to comfort him: She went down with 
him into the pit, and in bands she left him not? But we are 

1 In Annunt. Deip. 

9 " Descendit cum illo in foveam, et in vinculis non dereliquit il 
ium." Wisd. x. 13. 

and to the Blessed Virgin. XIX. 171 

yet more highly favored; for we have always with us in 
this land of miseries our God made Man, who, by his 
real presence, is with us all the days of our life, and com 
forts and helps us with the greatest affection and com 
passion. What a consolation it is to a poor prisoner to 
have an affectionate friend, who keeps him company, 
consoles him, gives him hope, succors him, and thinks of 
relieving him in his misery ! Behold our good friend 
Jesus Christ, who in this Sacrament encourages us, say 
ing: Behold, I am with you all days} Behold me, he says, 
all thine: I am come from heaven into thy prison ex 
pressly to console thee, to help thee, to deliver thee. 
Welcome me, and do so always; cling to me and thus 
thou wilt never feel thy miseries; and afterwards thou 
wilt come with me to my kingdom, where I shall make 
thee perfectly happy. 

O God, O incomprehensible ocean of love, since Thy 
condescension towards us is so great, that in order to 
dwell near us Thou descendest upon our altars, I propose 
often to visit Thee; I am determined, as often as I pos 
sibly can, to enjoy Thy most sweet presence, which is the 
beautitude of the saints in heaven. Oh, could I but 
always remain in Thy presence, to adore Thee and to 
make Thee acts of love ! Arouse, I beseech Thee, my 
soul, when through tepidity or worldly affairs it neglects 
to visit Thee. Enkindle in me a great desire always to 
remain near Thee in this Sacrament. Ah, my loving 
Jesus, would that I had always loved Thee ! would that I 
had always pleased Thee ! I console myself that I still 
have time to do so, not only in the next life, but also in 
this. I am determined to do so ; I am determined to 
love Thee indeed, my sovereign good, my love, my 
treasure, my all. I will love Thee with all my strength. 

Ejaculatory prayer. My God, help me to love Thee ! 
Spiritual Communion, page 124. 

1 " Ecce ego vobiscum sum omnibus diebus." Matt, xxviii. 20. 

172 Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament 

Visit to the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

The devout Bernardine de Bustis says: "O sinner, 
whoever you may be, despair not ; but with confidence 
have recourse to this Lady: you will find her hands filled 
with mercies and graces." 1 "And know also," he adds, 
" that this most compassionate Queen has a greater de 
sire to do you good than you can have to be succored by 
her." 2 I will ever, O my Lady, thank God for having 
taught me to know thee. Unfortunate indeed should I 
be, did I not know thee, or did I forget thee. Ill would 
it fare with my salvation. But, my Mother, I bless thee, 
I love thee; and so great is my confidence in thee, that I 
place my whole soul in thy hands. 

Ejaculatory prayer. O Mary, blessed is he who knows 
thee, and puts his trust in thee ! 

[From the Naples Edition.] 

Prayer of the Abbot of Celles. 

Draw me after thee, O Virgin Mary ! that I may run in the 
odor of thy perfumes. Draw me because I am impeded by the 
weight of my sins, and by the malice of my enemies. As no 
one can go to thy divine Son who is not conducted by his 
heavenly Father, so I presume also to say, that no one can ap 
proach this same Jesus but through thy intercession. Thou art 
the teacher of true wisdom : through thee sinners obtain grace 
because thou art their advocate; thou promisest to obtain 
help for those who honor thee, because thou art the treasure of 
God and the depository of all his graces. 3 

Ejaculatory prayer. O thou, who art the salvation of those 
who invoke thee, save me. 4 

The usual prayer, page 125. 

1 " O peccator ! non diffidas, sed secure ad istam Dominam recurras; 
invenies earn in manibus plenam misericordia et largitate." Mar. p. 
2, s. 5. 

2 "Plus enim ipsa desiderat facere tibi bonum, quam tu accipere 

3 Cont. de V. M. c. I. 

4 "O Salus te invocantium !" S. Bonav. 

and to the Blessed Virgin. XX. 1 73 

To the Blessed Sacrament. 

My Lord Jesus Christ, etc., page 123. 

The prophet Zacharias says: /;/ that day there shall be a 
fountain open to the house of David, and to the inhabitants of 
Jerusalem, for the washing of the sinner. 1 Jesus in the 
Holy Sacrament is the fountain foretold by the prophet 
as open to all, and to which we can go whenever we 
please, to wash our souls from all the stains of sin which 
are daily contracted. When any one falls into some 
fault, what more beautiful remedy is there than to have 
immediate recourse to the Most Blessed Sacrament? 

Yes, my Jesus, I resolve always to do this; for I know 
that the waters of this fountain of Thine not only cleanse 
me, but also give me light, and strengthen me not to 
fall, and enable me cheerfully to bear contradictions, and 
also inflame me with Thy love. I know that for this end 
it is that Thou awaitest my visits, and recompensest those 
of Thy lovers with so many graces. My Jesus, delay 
not; but wash me now from all the defects that I have 
committed this day, and for which I am grieved because 
they have displeased Thee ; strengthen me against re 
lapse by giving me a great desire to love Thee much. 
Oh, could I but always dwell near Thee, as did Thy 
faithful servant Mary Diaz, who lived in the time of St. 
Teresa, and had permission from the Bishop of Avila to 
inhabit the tribune of a church, where she remained 
almost always in the presence of the Most Blessed Sacra 
ment, which she called her neighbor, and which she only 
left to go to confession and Communion. When the 
Venerable Brother Francis of the Infant Jesus, of the 

1 " In die ilia erit fons patens domui David et habitantibus Jerusa 
lem, in ablutionem peccatoris." Zach. xiii. I. 

1 74 Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament 

Order of the Discalced Carmelites, passed before a 
church in which the Blessed Sacrament was kept, he 
could not refrain from entering to visit it, saying: 
" That it was not becoming for a friend to pass before 
the door of a friend without entering, at least to salute 
him and exchange a word." But a word did not satisfy 
him; he always remained as long as obedience allowed 
him in the presence of his beloved Lord. 

My only and infinite good, I see that Thou hast in 
stituted this Sacrament, and that Thou remainest on this 
altar, to be loved by me ; and that for this end Thou 
hast given me a heart capable of loving Thee much. 
Why is it, then, that I am so ungrateful as not to love 
Thee ? or that I love Thee so little ? Now it is not just 
that such goodness as Thou art should be so little loved. 
The love, at least, which Thou bearest me, deserves other 
and greater love on my part. Thou art an infinite God, 
and I am a miserable worm. It would be little, did I 
die for Thee, or wear myself out for Thee, who didst die 
for me, and dost sacrifice Thy entire self for me every 
day on the altar. Thou deservest to be much loved; I 
will love Thee much: help me, my Jesus, help me to love 
Thee, and to do that which pleases Thee so much, and 
which Thou so earnestly seekest of me. 

Ejaculatory prayer. My Beloved to me, and I to my 
Beloved ! 

Spiritual Communion, page 124. 

Visit to the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

My most sweet, most compassionate, most amiable 
Queen, oh, how great is the confidence with which St. 
Bernard inspires me when I have recourse to thee ! He 
says that thou dost not go examining the merits of those 
who have recourse to thy compassion ; but that thou 

1 " Dilectus meus mihi, et ego illi." Cant. ii. 16. 

and to the Blessed Virgin. XX. 175 

offerest thyself to help all who pray to thee: " Mary does 
not discuss merits, but shows herself ready to hear and 
welcome all." 1 Therefore, if I pray to thee, thou dost 
graciously hear me. Well, then, listen to what I have to 
ask thee: I am a poor sinner, deserving of a thousand 
hells. I wish to change my life; I wish to love my God, 
whom I have so greatly offended. I dedicate myself to 
thee as thy slave; to thee I give myself, miserable as I 
am; save, then, a poor creature who is no longer his own, 
but thine. My Lady, dost thou understand me? Yes; 
I trust that thou hast understood me, and graciously 
heard my prayer. 

Ejaculatory prayer. O Mary, I am thine; save me! a 

[From the Naples Edition.] 
Prayer of the Abbot of Celles. 

Most sweet Virgin, thou hast found grace and favor with God, 
in having been preserved from original sin, filled with the Holy 
Ghost, and chosen to be the Mother of the Son of God. Thou 
boldest in thy hands all the treasures of grace, not only for thy 
own benefit, but also for ours ; and thou failest not to distribute 
them according to our necessities, Thou assistest the good, by 
obtaining for them grace to persevere, and thou lielpest the 
wicked by preparing them to receive the divine mercy ; thou 
aidest the dying by defending them against the snares of the 
devil, and, after death, thou receivest their souls, and conductest 
them to the mansions of the blessed. 3 

Ejaculatory prayer. O Mary ! happy is he who serves thee 
and trusts in thee. 

The usual prayer, page 125. 

" Maria non discutit merita, sed omnibus se exorabilem praebet." 
In Sign. magn. 

2 " O Maria, tuus sum ego, salvum me fac !" 

3 " Contempl. de V. M. c. 6. 

1 76 Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament 

To the Blessed Sacrament. 

My Lord Jesus Christ, etc., page 123. 

Wheresoever the body shall be, thither will the eagles also be 
gathered together. 1 The saints generally understand by 
this body that of Jesus Christ; and by the eagles, souls 
who, being detached from creatures, rise above the 
things of the earth, and fly towards heaven, after which 
they always sigh in thought and affection, and where 
they constantly dwell. These eagles also find their 
paradise on earth wherever they find Jesus in the Most 
Holy Sacrament; so much so, indeed, that they seem 
never to tire hovering around him. If eagles, says St. 
Jerome, 2 on scenting a dead body go from afar to seek 
it, how much more should we run and fly to Jesus in the 
Most Blessed Sacrament, as to the most delicious food of 
our hearts ! Hence saints in this valley of tears have 
always as parched harts run to this fountain of paradise. 
Father Balthasar Alvarez, of the Society of Jesus, in 
whatever occupation he was engaged, used often to cast 
his eyes towards the place in which he knew that the 
Blessed Sacrament was ; he often visited it, and even 
spent entire nights before it. He used to weep when he 
saw the palaces of the great ones of this world filled with 
people, who courted a man from whom they hoped for 
some miserable earthly good, and the churches so aban 
doned, in which the supreme sovereign of the world 
dwells, and remains with us as on a throne of love, rich 
in immense and eternal treasures. He used also to say, 
that religious persons were indeed fortunate, because in 
the very houses in which they reside, they can, whenever 

1 " Ubicumque fuerit corpus, ilUc cpngregabantur et aquilae." 
Matt. xxiv. 23. 

2 In Matt, loco cit. 

and to the Blessed Virgin. XXL \ 77 

they please, either night or day, visit this great Lord in 
the Most Blessed Sacrament; and this lay people cannot 

Since, then, my most loving Lord, notwithstanding 
that Thou seest me as a leper, and so ungrateful to 
Tliy love, Thou invitest me to approach Thee, I will not 
be discouraged at the sight of my miseries: I come and 
approach Thee; but do Thou wholly change me. Drive 
from me every love which is not for Thee, every desire 
which displeases Thee, every thought which does not 
tend toward Thee. My Jesus, my love, my treasure, my 
all, I am determined to please Thee alone. I will give 
pleasure only to Thee. Thou alone deservest all my 
love; Thee only will I love with my whole heart. Detach 
me from everything, my Lord, and bind me to Thyself 
alone; but bind me so firmly, that I may never more be 
able to separate myself from Thee, either in this life or 
in the next. 

Ejaculatory prayer. My most sweet Jesus, never allow 
me to be separated from Thee ! 

Spiritual Communion, page 124. 

Visit to the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

Denis, the Carthusian, calls the Most Blessed Virgin 
" the advocate of all the wicked who have recourse to 
her." 3 

Since, then,O great Mother of God, thy office is to de 
fend the causes of the most guilty criminals who have 
recourse to thee, behold me now at thy feet; to thee I 
have recourse, and I address thee in the words of St. 
Thomas of Villanova: " O gracious advocate, fulfil thy 
charge." : Now quickly enter upon thy office, under- 

1 " Jesu mi dulcissime ! ne permittas me separari a te." 

2 " Advocata omnium iniquorum ad eamconfugientium." De Land. 
V. M. 1. 2, a. 23. 

" Eja ergo, Advocata nostra ! officium tuum imple." In Nat. B. 
V. cone. 3. 

1 78 Visits to tJie Most Holy Sacrament 

take my cause : it is true that I have indeed been guilty 
before my Lord, having offended him, after the many 
benefits and graces he has conferred upon me; but the 
evil is done; thou canst save me. Thou hast only to tell 
thy God that thou defendest me, and then I shall be for 
given, and shall be saved. 

Ejaculatory prayer. My dear Mother, thou hast to save 
me ! 

[From the Naples Edition.] 
Prayer of William Bishop of Paris. 

I address my petitions to thee, O Mother of God ! whom the 
whole Church styles the Mother of mercy. Canst thou, whose 
prayers are always acceptable to God, refuse thy intercession in 
behalf of sinners ? Justly does St. Bernard say, that we may 
cease to call thee the Mother of Mercy, if any one ever invokes 
thee in the hour of need, without experiencing thy assistance. 
Thou wilt not, therefore, exclude me from a share in thy com 
passion. Thou wilt intercede for me with more earnestness than 
I can for myself ; and thou wilt procure more abundant graces 
than I could presume to ask. O Mother of mercy ! can that 
clemency, which never abandoned any one, refuse me its assist 
ance in the danger to which I am exposed of being eternally 
lost? 1 

Ejaculatory prayer. O Mary ! I am thine : save me. 3 
The usual prayer, page 125. 

To the Blessed Sacrament. 

My Lord Jesus Christ, etc., page 123. 

The Spouse in the sacred Canticles went about seek 
ing for her Beloved; and not finding him, she asked all 
whom she met: Have you seen Him whom my soul loveth ? * 
Jesus was not then on earth; but now, if a soul that loves 

1 De Rhet. div. c. 18. 

2 " O Maria ! tuus sum ego, salvum me fac." 

3 " Num quern diligit anima mea vidistis?" Cant. iii. 3. 

and to the Blessed Virgin. XXI L 1 79 

him seeks him, she can always find him in the Most 
Blessed Sacrament. The Venerable Father John Avila 
used to say, that amongst all sanctuaries he could 
neither find nor desire a more delightful one than a 
church in which the Most Blessed Sacrament is reserved. 

O infinite love of my God, worthy of infinite love ! 
And how couldst Thou, my Jesus, ever abase Thyself so 
far as, in order to dwell amongst men, and to unite Thy- 
self to their hearts, to humble Thyself to such a degree 
as to conceal Thyself under the species of bread ? O in 
carnate Word, Thou art supreme in Thy humility, 
because Thou art supreme in Thy love ! How can I do 
otherwise than love Thee with my entire self, knowing 
as I do how much Thou hast done to captivate my love ? 
I love Thee much; and therefore I give Thy good pleas 
ure the preference above every interest and every satis 
faction of my own. My pleasure is to give Thee pleas 
ure, my Jesus, my God, my love, my all. Make me 
hunger to be continually in Thy presence in the Blessed 
Sacrament, to receive Thee into myself, and to keep 
Thee company. I should be indeed ungrateful did I 
not accept so sweet and gracious an invitation. Ah, 
Lord, annihilate in me all affection for created things ! 
Thou wiliest that Thou alone, my Creator, shouldst be 
the object of all my sighs, of all my love. I love Thee, 
most amiable goodness of my God. I ask nothing of 
Thee but Thyself. I desire not my own pleasure; Thy 
pleasure is all my desire, and sufficient for me. Accept, 
my Jesus, this good desire of a sinner who wishes to love 
Thee. Help me by Thy grace. Grant that I, a miser 
able slave of hell, may from this day forward be the 
happy slave of Thy love. 

Ejaculatory prayer. I love Thee, Jesus, my treasure, 
above every other treasure ! 

Spiritual Communion, page 124. 

180 Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament 

Visit to the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

My most sweet Lady and Mother, I am a vile rebel to 
thy great Son; but I come repentant to thy mercy, that 
thou mayest obtain for me pardon. Say not that thou 
canst not do so; for St. Bernard calls thee " the minister 
of propitiation." ] To thee also it belongs to succor 
those who are in dangers, St. Ephrem calling thee 
" the helper of those in peril." 2 My Lady, who is in 
greater danger than I am ? I have lost God: it is certain 
that T <have been condemned to hell. I know not whether 
God has yet pardoned me. I may again lose him. But 
thou canst obtain me all; and from thee I hope for every 
good, for forgiveness, perseverance, and heaven. I hope 
to be one of those who, in the kingdom of the blessed, 
will most praise thy mercies, O Mary, for having saved 
me by thy intercession. 

Ejaculatory prayer. I will sing the mercies of Mary for 
all eternity; I will sing them forever and ever! Amen, 
amen. 3 

IFrom the Naples Edition.] 

Prayer of William, Bishop of Paris. 

Mother of God ! thy goodness never despises the sinner 
who recommends himself to thy patronage, however enormous 
his crimes may have been: and hence the Church justly calls 
thee her advocate and the refuge of sinners. Let not, then, my 
crimes prevent thee from fulfilling this office of mercy, whereby 
thou becomest the mediatrix of peace, the hope and secure 
asylum of all who are in affliction. Let it not be said that the 
Mother of God, who, for the sake of the world, brought forth 
the source of mercy, can refuse to look down with pity on any 
wretch that flies to her for assistance. Thou art employed as 
the mediatrix between God and man : let me experience a share 
of thy great compassion." * 

1 "Ministra propitiationis." In Sign. magn. 

2 " Opitulatrix periclitantium." De Laud. Dei Gen. 

3 " Misericordias Mariae in aeternum cantabo, in aeternum cantabo. 
Amen, Amen." 

4 De Rhet. div. c. 18. 

and to the Blessed Virgin. XX HI. 1 8 1 

Ejaculatory prayer. O Mary, my loving Mother, may I, under 
God, owe my salvation to thee ! 

The usual prayer, page 125. 

To the Blessed Sacrament. 

My Lord Jesus Christ , etc., page 123. 

Many Christians submit to great fatigue, and expose 
themselves to many dangers, to visit the places in the 
Holy Land where our most loving Saviour was born, 
suffered, and died. We need not undertake so long a 
journey, or expose ourselves to so many dangers; the 
same Lord is near us, and dwells in the church, only a 
few steps distant from our houses. If pilgrims, says St. 
Paulinus, 1 consider it a great thing to bring back a little 
dust from the crib, or from the holy sepulchre in which 
Jesus was buried, with what ardor should not we visit 
the Most Blessed Sacrament, where the same Jesus is in 
person, and where we can go without encountering so 
much fatigue and so many dangers! A religious person, 
to whom God had given great love for the Most Blessed 
Sacrament, amongst other things wrote as follows in a 
letter: " I see that every good thing that I have comes 
to me from the Most Blessed Sacrament. I have given 
and consecrated my whole self to Jesus in this Sacrament. 
I see innumerable graces, which are not granted because 
people do not go to this divine Sacrament. I see the 
great desire that our Lord has to dispense his graces in 
the Sacrament. O holy mystery ! O sacred Host ! Where 
is it that God manifests his power the most, if it is not in 
this Host ? For this Host contains all that God has ever 
done for us. Let us not envy the blessed who are in 
heaven, since on earth we have the same Lord, with 
greater wonders of his love. Induce all with whom you 

1 Epist. 36 ad Mac. 

1 82 Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament 

speak to devote themselves to the Most Blessed Sacra 
ment. I speak thus because this Sacrament enraptures 
my soul. Nor can I cease to speak of the Most Blessed 
Sacrament, which deserves so greatly to be loved. I know 
not what to do for Jesus in this Sacrament." Thus the 
letter ends. 

O ye Seraphim, who remain sweetly burning with love 
around your and my Lord; though it is not indeed for 
love of you but of me that this King of Heaven is 
pleased to be present in this Sacrament O loving An 
gels, let me also burn with love ; and do you enkindle 
your love in me, that with you I also may burn ! O my 
Jesus, teach me to know the greatness of the love which 
Thou bearest to men, that at the sight of so great love 
my desire to love Thee and please Thee may go on 
always increasing ! I love Thee, most amiable Lord, and 
will always love Thee; and this alone to please Thee. 

Ejaculatory prayer. My Jesus, I believe in Thee, I hope 
in Thee, I love Thee, and I give myself to Thee ! 
Spiritual Communion, page 124. 

Visit to the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

Most amiable Virgin, St. Bonaventure calls thee, "the 
Mother of orphans;" 1 and St. Ephrem, moreover, calls 
thee " the receiver of orphans. " a Alas, these wretched 
orphans are no others than poor sinners who have lost 
God ! Behold, then, I have recourse to thee, most holy 
Mary. I have lost my Father; but thou art my Mother, 
who must enable me to recover him. In this my so great 
misfortune I call thee to my aid; do thou succor me. 
Shall I remain disconsolate? No; for Innocent III., 
speaking of thee, asks, " Whoever called upon her, and 
was not graciously heard by her ?" 3 And whoever prayed 

1 " Mater orphanorutn." Psalt. min. B. V. 

2 " Susceptio orphanorum." De Laud. Dei Gen. 

3 " Quis invocavit earn, et non est exauditus ab ipsa ?" De Ass. B. 
V. s. 2. 

and to the Blessed Virgin. XXIV. 183 

to thee, and was not heard and helped by thee ? Who 
was ever lost who had recourse to thee? He alone is 
lost who has not recourse to thee. Then, my Queen, if 
thou desirest my salvation, enable me always to invoke 
and confide in thee. 

Ejaculatory prayer. My own most holy Mary, give me 
confidence in thee ! 

[From the Naples Edition.] 

I shall say with St. Augustine, Remember, O Mary, full of 
goodness! that no sinner has ever been heard of that has had 
recourse to thy protection and been abandoned by thee. Let 
us, then, says St. Bernard, seek for grace through the means of 
Mary, because she can obtain what she asks, and her demands 
never meet with a refusal. 1 O Mother of God! thou prayest for 
all ; vouchsafe to pray for me, who am the greatest of sinners, 
and therefore have the greatest need of thy intercession.* 

Ejaculatory prayer. I fly to thy protection, O sacred Mother 
of God ! 

The usual prayer, page 125. 


To the Blessed Sacrament. 

My Lord Jesus Christ, etc., page 123. 

Verily Thou art a hidden God? In no other work of 
divine love are these words so fully verified as in this 
adorable mystery of the Most Holy Sacrament, where 
our God is entirely hidden. When the Eternal Word 
took flesh, he hid his divinity, and appeared as a man on 
earth; but remaining with us in this Sacrament, he hides 
even his humanity, and, as remarks St. Bernard, appears 
only under the form of bread, to show thereby the ten 
derness of the love which he bears us: "The divinity is 

"Qureramus gratiam et per Mariam quaeramus; quia quod quaerit, 
invenit, et frustrari non potest." DC Aquccd. 

" Sub tuum presidium confugimus, sancta Dei genitrix !" 
" Vere tu es Dens absconditus." ha. xlv. 15. 

See the Sixth and the Thirteenth Visit, page 139 and 156. 

184 Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament 

hid, the humanity is hid; the bowels of charity alone 
appear." 1 O my Beloved Redeemer, at the sight of the 
excessive tenderness Thou hast for men, I am beside my 
self, my Lord, and know not what to say. In this Sacra 
ment Thou goest so far for their love as to hide Thy 
majesty and lower Thy glory; Thou goesi so far as even 
to consume and annihilate Thy divine life. And whilst 
Thou art on the altar Thou seemest to have nothing else 
to do than to love men, and to show them the love 
which Thou bearest them. And what gratitude do they 
show Thee in return, O great Son of God ? 

Jesus, O too great a lover of men, allow me to say 
so, for I see that Thou preferrest their advantage to 
Thine own glory. And didst Thou not know to how 
much contempt this loving design of Thine would ex 
pose Thee? I see, and before me Thou didst see it full 
well Thyself, that the greater part of men adore Thee 
not, neither will they acknowledge Thee for what Thou 
art in this Sacrament. I know that these very men have 
gone so far as to trample on the consecrated Hosts, that 
they have thrown them on the ground, into water, and 
into fire. And I see the greater part even of those who 
believe in Thee, O God, who, so far from repairing so 
many outrages by the homage of their devotion, either 
come to the church to offend Thee still more by their ir 
reverences, or else abandon Thee on Thy altar, and some 
times even leave it unprovided with a lamp or the neces 
sary ornaments ! 

Oh, could I, my most sweet Saviour, but wash with 
my tears, or even with my blood, those unhappy places in 
which, in this Sacrament, Thy love and Thy enamoured 
heart have been so greatly outraged ! But if so much is 
not granted me, I desire at least, my Lord, and deter 
mine, to visit Thee often, in order to adore Thee as I now 
adore Thee, and this in compensation for the insults which 

1 " Latet divinitas, latet humanitas ; sola patent viscera charitatis." 

and to the Blessed Virgin. XXIV. 185 

Thou receivest in this most divine mystery. Accept, O 
Eternal Father, this scanty honor, which I, the most 
miserable of men, now offer Thee in reparation of the 
outrages offered to Thy Son in the Most Holy Sacra 
ment; accept it in union with that infinite honor which 
Jesus Christ gave Thee on the cross, and which he daily 
gives Thee in the Most Blessed Sacrament. O my 
Sacramental Jesus, would that I could fill all men with 
love for the Most Blessed Sacrament ! 

Ejaculatory prayer. O amiable Jesus, make Thyself 
known, make Thyself loved ! 

Spiritual Communion, page 124. 

Visit to the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

My most powerful Lady, in the midst of my misgivings 
as to my eternal salvation, how great is the confidence 
which I feel when I have recourse to thee; and when I 
think that thou, my Mother, art, on the one hand, so rich 
in graces, that St. John Damascene calls thee " a sea of 
graces;" 1 St. Bonaventure, " the assemblage of graces," 8 
that is, the source in which all graces are congregated; 
St. Ephrem, "a fountain of grace and of all consolation;" 3 
and St. Bernard, "the fulness of every good;" 4 and 
when, on the other hand, I reflect that thy desire to do 
us good is so great, that thou esteemest thyself offended, 
as St. Bonaventure says, by him who does not ask thee 
for thy graces: "they sin against thee, O Lady," he says, 
" who do not ask of thee;" 6 O most rich, O most wise, 
and most merciful Queen, I see that thou knowest far 
better than I do the wants of my soul, and that thou 
iovest me far more than I can love thee ! Know, then, 

1 " Pelagus gratiarum." In Nat. V. M. or. i. 

2 " Congregatio gratiarum." Spec. B. V. c. 7. 

3 " Fons gratiae et totius consolation is." De Laud. Dei Gen. 

4 " Plenitudo totius boni." De Aquccd. 

6 " In te, Dornina, peccant, qui te non rogant." 

1 86 Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament 

the grace for which I now ask thee ; obtain me the 
grace which thou knowest to be the most expedient for 
my soul. Ask this favor from God, and I am satisfied. 

Ejaculatory prayer. My God, grant me the graces which 
Mary asks Thee for rne ! 

[From the Naples Edition.] 

Let us go, says St. Paul, to the throne of grace, that we may 
obtain mercy in the time of need. 1 Thou, divine Mary, art this 
throne of grace, 2 from which God dispenses all his blessings. 
Most amiable Queen, thy delight is to assist those who are in 
the wretched state of sin : behold, then, at thy feet a grievous 
sinner, imploring the aid of thy prayers. Help me to the utmost 
of thy power, and without delay : the wonders of thy mercy will 
be enhanced by saving one that has deserved a thousand hells. 
Thy Son cannot withstand thy intercession. I entreat thee, 
therefore, by the love which thou entertainest for Jesus, to pro 
cure pardon for me for the past, and grace to lead a holy life for 
the future. O Mary, thou art my strength, and the ground of 
my hope.* 

Ejacitlatory prayer. O Mary, cast a look of compassion on 

The usual prayer, page 125. 

To the Blessed Sacrament. 

My Lord Jesus Christ, etc., page 123. 

St. Paul praises the obedience of Jesus Christ, saying, 
that he obeyed his Eternal Father even to death: becom 
ing obedient even unto death? But in this sacrament he has 
gone still farther; for here he has been pleased to become 

1 " Adeamus cum fiducia ad thronum gratise, ut misericordiam con- 
sequamur, et gratiam inveniamus in auxilio opportune. Heb. iv. 

2 St. Antoninus. P. 4, tit. 15, c. 14. 

3 " Factus obediens usque ad mortem." Phil. ii. 8. 

* See the Second Visit, page 130. 

and to the Blessed Virgin. XXV. 187 

obedient, not only to his Eternal Father, but also to 
man; and not only to death, but as long as the world 
shall last; so that we can say: " He has become obedient 
even unto the consummation of the world." He, the 
King of Heaven, comes down from heaven in obedience 
to man, and then seems to dwell and converse there, in 
order to obey men: And I do not resist. 1 There he re 
mains without moving himself; he allows himself to be 
placed where men will, be it for exposition in the re 
monstrance, or to be enclosed in the tabernacle. He al 
lows himself to be carried wheresoever he is borne, be it 
into houses or through the streets; he allows himself to 
be given in Communion to whomsoever he is adminis 
tered, be they just or sinners. St. Luke says that whilst 
he dwelt on earth he obeyed the Most Blessed Virgin 
Mary and St. Joseph; but in this Sacrament he obeys as 
many creatures as there are priests on earth: and I do not 

Permit me now to address Thee, O most loving Heart 
of my Jesus, from which indeed all the Sacraments 
flowed forth, but principally this Sacrament of love. I 
would gladly give Thee as much glory and honor as 
Thou givest in the Holy Sacrament in our churches to 
the Eternal Father. I know that on this altar Thou 
still lovest me with that same love with which Thou didst 
love me when Thou didst close Thy divine life in the 
midst of so much anguish on the cross. O divine Heart, 
enlighten all those who know Thee not with the knowl 
edge of Thyself ! Through Thy merits deliver from 
purgatory, or at least relieve, the pains of the afflicted 
souls, who are already Thy spouses for all eternity. I 
adore Thee, I thank Thee, I love Thee, in union with all 
souls who at this moment love Thee, be they on earth or 
in heaven. O most pure Heart, purify my heart from all 

1 " Ego autem non contradico." Isa. 1. 5. 

1 88 Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament 

attachment to creatures, and fill it with Thy holy love ! 

most sweet Heart, possess my whole heart, so that 
henceforward it may be all Thine, and always be en 
abled to say : Who, then, shall separate us from the love of 
God, which is in Jesus Christ our Lord? 1 Write, O most 
sacred Heart, upon my heart all the bitter sorrows, which 
for so many years Thou didst endure on earth with so 
much love for me, that, on seeing them, I may hencefor 
ward desire, or at least endure with patience, all the 
sorrows of this life. Most humble Heart of Jesus, give 
me a share of Thy humility. Most meek Heart, impart 
Thy sweetness to me, Take from my heart all that dis 
pleases Thee; convert it wholly to Thee, so that I may 
no longer will or desire other than what Thou wiliest. 
In a word, grant that I may live only to obey Thee, only 
to love Thee, only to give Thee pleasure. I know that I, 
indeed, owe Thee much; and that Thou hast indeed 
placed me under great obligations: it will be but little if 

1 consume and wear myself out for Thee. 

Ejaculatory prayer. O Heart of Jesus, Thou art the sole 
Lord of my heart ! 

Spiritual Communion, page 124. 

Visit to the Blessed Virgin Mary, 

St. Bernard says, that Mary is that heavenly ark, in 
which if we take timely refuge, we shall certainly be de 
livered from the shipwreck of eternal damnation: "She 
is the ark in which we escape shipwreck." a The ark in 
which Noe escaped from the general wreck of the world 
was indeed a type of Mary. But Hesychius says, that 
Mary is a more spacious, stronger, and more compassion 
ate ark. 3 Only a few men and a few beasts were received 

1 "Nequemors, neque vita, . . . poterit nos separare a charitate 
Dei, quae est in Christo Jesu." Rom. viii, 39. 

2 " Area in qua naufragium evadimus." S. de B. M. Deip 

3 "Area Noe largior." De S. M. Deip. horn. 2. 

and to the Blessed Virgin. XXVI. 189 

and saved by the former; but Mary, our ark, receives all 
who take refuge under her mantle, and with certainty 
saves them all. Unfortunate should we be had we not 
Mary ! But still, my Queen, how many are lost ! and 
why? Because they have not recourse to thee. And 
who would ever be lost had he recourse to thee ? 

Ejaculatory prayer. Grant, most holy Mary, that we may 
all and always have recourse to thee ! 

[From the Naples Edition.] 

my sovereign Queen ! thou art the treasure of God, 1 and in 
thy hands are deposited those stores of mercy which he wishes to 
bestow upon us. Thou hast said, by the mouth of the prophet, 
that thou holdest in thy hands the treasures of heaven, to enrich 
those who love thee. 2 My loving Mother, I am an unfortunate 
sinner, and in the greatest need of help. Remember that I love 
thee with all my heart ; yes, next to God, there is no object that 
I love so much as thee, because I know that this is due to thy 
unrivalled perfections. Have pity on me, and forsake me not; 
help me during life, and help me at the hour of death, that I 
may one day arrive at the enjoyment of thy happy society in the 
kingdom of heaven.* 

Ejaculatory prayer. O Mary ! all my hopes are directed to 
wards thee. 

The usual prayer, page 125. 

To the Blessed Sacrament. 

My Lord Jestts Chiist, etc., page 123. 

Rejoice, and praise, O thou habitation of Sion; for great is 
He that is in the midst of thee, the Holy One of Israel. 3 O 
God, and what joy ought not we men to conceive, what 

1 "Thesaurus et Thesauraria gratiarum." Idiot. Cont. de V. M. 
c. i. 

2 " Mecum sunt divitiae, . . ut ditem diligentes me." Prov. xviii. 8. 

3 " Exsulta et lauda, habitatio Sion; quia Magnus in medio tui, 
Sanctus Israel." ha. xii. 6. 

* See the Tenth Visit, page 149. 

i go Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament 

hopes and what affections, in knowing that in the midst 
of our land, in our churches, near our houses, the Holy 
of holies, the true God, dwells and lives in the Most Holy 
Sacrament of the Altar ! He who by his presence alone 
renders the saints in heaven blessed ! He who is love 
itself. "It is not so much that he has love, as that he is 
love itself," 1 says St. Bernard. This Sacrament is not 
only a sacrament of love, but is love itself; it is God 
himself, who, for the immense love which he bears his 
creatures, calls himself, and is, love itself: God is love? 

But I hear Thee complain, O my Sacramental Jesus: 
I was a stranger, and you took Me not in; 3 that Thou earnest 
on earth to be our guest for our good, and that we have 
not welcomed Thee. Thou art right, Lord, Thou art 
right; and I am one of these ungrateful creatures who 
have left Thee alone, without even visiting Thee. Chas 
tise me as Thou pleasest ; but not by depriving me 
of Thy presence, which is the chastisement I deserve: 
no, I will repair my fault, and the indignities which I 
have heaped upon Thee. From this day forward I will 
not only visit Thee often, but will remain with Thee for 
as long a time as I can. O most compassionate Saviour, 
be pleased to make me faithful to Thee; and grant that I 
may also, by my example, excite others to keep Thee 
company in the Most Blessed Sacrament. I hear the 
Eternal Father, who says: This is my beloved Son: in whom 
I am well pleased? A God, then, finds all his complacency 
in Thee; and shall not I, a miserable worm, find mine in 
dwelling with Thee in this valley of tears ! O consum 
ing fire, destroy in me all affections for earthly things; 
for they alone can render me unfaithful, and take me 

1 " Amorem non tarn habet, quam ipse est." In Cant. s. 59. 

2 " Deus charitas est." i John, iv. 16. 

3 " Hospes eram, et non collegistis me." Matt. xxv. 43. 

4 " Hie est Filius meus dilectus, in quo mihi complacui." Matt. 
iii. 17. 

and to the Blessed Virgin. XX VL 191 

away from Thee. Thou canst do so, if Thou wilt: Lord, 
if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean. 1 Thou hast already 
done so much for me, do this also : banish from my heart 
all love which does not tend towards Thee. Behold, I 
give myself all to Thee : I now dedicate the whole re 
mainder of my life to the love of the Most Blessed 
Sacrament. Thou, O Sacramental Jesus, hast to be my 
comfort, my love in life, and at the hour of my death, 
when Thou wilt come to be my Viaticum and my guide 
to Thy blessed kingdom. Amen, amen. So do I hope; 
so may it be ! 

Ejaculatory prayer. When, O my Jesus, shall I behold 
Thy beautiful face ! 

Spiritual Communion, page 124. 

Visit to the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

In thee, our own most holy Mother, we find the remedy 
for all our woes; in thee we find strength in our weak 
ness; for St. Germanus calls thee the " strength itself of 
our weakness." 3 In thee we find a door by which to 
make our exit from the slavery of sin; for St. Bonaven- 
ture calls thee "the gate of liberty." 5 In thee we find 
our certain peace; for the same saint calls thee "the safe 
repose of men." In thee we find relief in our miserable 
life. Thou art "the solace of our pilgrimage," 5 as St. 
Laurence Justinian calls thee. In thee, in a word, we 
find divine grace and God himself, for St. Bonaventure 
calls thee " the throne of God s grace;" 6 and St. Proclus, 
" the bridge by which God descends to men ;" 7 that happy 

1 " Domine, si vis, potes me mundare." Matt. viii. 2. 

2 "Potentia debilitatis nostrae." Enc. Deiparce. 

3 " Porta libertatis." Psalt. min. B. V. 

4 " Quies tuta hominum." 

6 "Solatium perigrinationis nostrae." S. in Nat. V. M. 
6 " Thronus gratiae Dei." 

1 " Pons per quern Deus ad homines descendit." Or. i in Dei gen. 

1 92 Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament 

bridge by which God, who had been driven to a distance 
by our sins, returns to dwell by his grace in our souls. 

Ejaculatory prayer. O Mary, thou art my strength, rny 
deliverance, my peace, and salvation ! 

[From the Naples Edition.] 

Mary! I will say to thee in the words of thy servant St. 
Bernard : thou art the queen of mercy. And who are the sub 
jects of thy mercy but such as are in misery and affliction ? Yes, 
thou art truly the queen of mercy, and I, the most wretched of 
sinners, am thy subject. I, therefore, of all, am the best en 
titled to thy compassion. Turn then, O my advocate, those 
eyes of mercy towards me, and after my days of exile, show me 
Jesus, the blessed fruit of thy womb. 2 

Ejaculatory prayer. O Mary, my refuge, pray for me to Jesus. 
The usual prayer, page 125. 

To the Blessed Sacrament. 

My Lord Jesus Christ, etc., page 123. 

The holy Church sings in the Office of the Most Blessed 
Sacrament: "There is no other country, however great, 
whose gods are nigh it as our God is nigh to us." : When 
the Gentiles heard how far our God carried his works of 
love, they exclaimed: Oh, how good a God is this God 
of the Christians! And, indeed, although the Gentiles 
imagined their gods according to their own caprices, 
yet, if you read history, you will never find in all their 
fables, and. among the many gods they invented, that 
they went so far as even to imagine a god as enamoured 

1 " Tu es Regina misericordise; et qui subditi, nisi miseri ? Tu 
Regina misericordiae, et ego miserrimus peccator, subditorum maxi- 
mus. Rege nos ergo, o Regina misericordiae." 

2 " Eja ergo, Advocatanostra! illos tuos misericoraes oculos ad nos 

3 " Non est alia natio tarn grandis, quse habeat decs appropinquantes 
sibi, sicut Deus noster adest nobis." Resp. 7. Deut. iv. 7. 

and to the Blessed Virgin. XXVII. 193 

of men as is our true God ; who, to show his love 
for his adorers, and to enrich them with graces, has 
worked such a prodigy of love as to become their con 
stant companion, and to remain night and day concealed 
on their altars, seeming as if he knew not how to sepa 
rate himself from them, even for a moment: He hath made 
a remembrance of His wonderful works? 

Thou, then, my most sweet Jesus, hast been pleased to 
work the greatest of Thy miracles in order to satisfy the 
excessive desire which Thou hast to remain always near 
and present to us. Why, then, do men fly from Thy pres 
ence ? And how can they live for so long a time at a 
distance from Thee, or visit Thee so seldom ? How is it 
that when in Thy presence they get so weary that a 
quarter of an hour appears an age? Oh, patience of 
my Jesus, how great art Thou ! Yes, my Lord, I under 
stand Thee; Thy patience is great, because the love 
Thou bearest to men is great: and this it is which, so to 
say, forces Thee to dwell always in the midst of creatures 
so ungrateful. 

Ah, my God, who, because Thou art infinite in perfec 
tions art also infinite in love, permit not that I should for 
the future be, as I have hitherto been, of the number of 
these ungrateful ones. Grant me a love equal to Thy 
merits and to my own obligations. At one time I also 
was weary in Thy presence, either because I loved Thee 
not, or because I loved Thee too little; but if by Thy 
grace I am enabled to love Thee much, I shall no longer 
find it tedious to remain even for whole days and nights 
at Thy feet in the Most Holy Sacrament. O Eternal 
Father, I offer Thee Thine own Son himself; accept him 
for me, and through his merits give me so ardent and 
tender a love towards the Most Blessed Sacrament, that, 
constantly turning towards some church in which he 

" Memoriam fecit mirabilium suorum." Ps. ex. 4. 

194 Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament 

dwells, I may think of, and desire with longing anxiety, 
the time when I may be able to go and entertain myself 
in his presence. 

Ejaculatory prayer. My God, for the love of Jesus, 
give me a great love towards the Most Blessed Sacra 
ment ! 

Spiritual Communion, page 124. 

Visit to the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

Mary is that tower of David, of which the Holy Ghost 
says in the sacred Canticles: // is built with bulwarks; a 
tJwusand bucklers hang upon it, all the armor of valiant men. 1 
A tower built with a thousand fortresses, and containing 
a thousand shields and weapons, for the benefit of those 
who have recourse to it. Thou art, then, according to an 
expression of St. Ignatius, martyr, O most holy Mary, 
a most powerful defence for all those who are en 
gaged in battle. 2 Oh, how constantly are my enemies 
attacking me, in order to deprive me of the grace of God 
and of thy protection, my most dear Lady ! But thou 
art my strength. Thou, indeed, dost not disdain to bat 
tle for those who trust in thee; for St. Ephrem calls thee 
" the bulwark of all who confide in thee." ; Do thou, 
then, defend and fight for me, who have such great hope 
and confidence in thee. 

Ejaculatory prayer. Mary, Mary, thy name is my de 
fence ! 

[From the Naples Edition.] 

My queen ! thou hast said to thy servant St. Bridget, that as 
often as a man sins, if he returns to thee with sincere repentance, 
thou wilt receive him and restore him to the friendship of God J 
that thou dost not consider the greatness of his crimes, but the 
sincerity of his repentance ; and that thou art ever ready to apply 

1 " ^dificata est cum propugnaculis; mille clypei pendent ex ea, 
omnis armatura fortium." Cant. iv. 4. 

2 " Propugnaculum munitissimum in bello versantibus." 

3 " Propugnatrix confidentium in te," 

and to the Blessed Virgin. XXVIII. 195 

a cure to his wounds, because thou art in reality, as in name, the 
Mother of mercy. 1 Since, therefore, thou rejectest no sinner 
who approaches thee with a sincere detestation of his crimes, 
and since thou hast both the power and the will to heal him, 
behold, T present myself before thee, and beseech thee to apply 
thy celestial remedies to the deep wounds 01 my soul. Thy Son 
can refuse thee nothing : entreat him, then, to pardon me and 
to grant me his love.* 

Ejaculatory prayer. O Mary! my hope, I expect all through 

The usual prayer, page 125. 

To the Blessed Sacrament. 

My Lord Jesus Christ, etc., page 123. 

God, having given us his own Son, says St. Paul, what 
good thing is there that we can fear he might deny us ! 
How hath He not also with Him given us all things ? 2 We 
know, indeed, that all that the Eternal Father has he has 
given to Jesus Christ. The Father has given Him all things 
into His hands? Let us, then, ever thank the goodness, 
the mercy, the liberality of our most loving God, who 
has been pleased to make us rich in all good things, and 
in every grace, by giving us Jesus in the Sacrament of 
the Altar: /// all things you are made rich in Him, . . . so 
that nothing is wanting to you in any grace." 

1 " Quantumcumque homo peccet, si ex vera emendatione ad me 
reversus fuerit, statim parata sum recipere revertentem; nee attendo 
quantum peccaverit, sedcum quali voluntate venit: nam non dedignor 
ejus plagas ungere et sanare, quia vocor (et vere sum) Mater miseri- 
cordiae." Rev. 1. 2, c. 23; 1. 6, c. 117. 

2 " Quomodo non etiam cum illo omnia nobis donavit ?" Rom. viii. 

3 " Omnia dedit ei Pater in manus." John, xiii. 2. 

4 " In omnibus divites facti estis in illo, . . . ita ut nihil vobis 
desit in ulla gratia." i Cor. i. 5, 7. 

* See the Sixteenth Visit, page 163. 

196 Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament 

Therefore, O Saviour of the world, O Incarnate Word, 
if I desire to have Thee, I can really think that Thou art 
mine, and all mine. But can I at the same time say that 
I am all Thine, as Thou desirest ? Ah, my Lord, pre 
vent it ; and never let the world witness such disorder 
and such ingratitude, as that I should not be Thine 
when Thou desirest me ! Ah, no; let it never be ! If 
it has been so hitherto, let it never be so again. I now, 
with the utmost determination, consecrate myself entire 
ly to Thee; for time and eternity I consecrate my life, 
my will, my thoughts, my actions, my sufferings, to 
Thee. Behold me Thine; as a victim consecrated to 
Thee, I bid farewell to all creatures, and offer my whole 
self to Thee. Consume me with the flames of Thy 
divine love. No, I am determined that creatures shall 
no longer share my heart. The proofs which Thou hast 
given me of the love which Thou bearest me, even at a 
time when I did not love Thee, make me hope that Thou 
certainly acceptest me now that I love Thee, and out of 
love give myself to Thee. 

Eternal Father, I now offer Thee all the virtues, the 
actions, the affections, of the Heart of Thy dear Jesus. 
Accept them, and by his merits, which are all mine, for 
he has given them to me, grant me the graces which 
Jesus asks Thee for me. With these merits I thank 
Thee for the many mercies which Thou hast shown me; 
with these I satisfy for what I owe Thee for my sins; 
through these I hope for every grace from Thee, par 
don, perseverance, Paradise, and above all, the crowning 
gift ot Thy pure love. I well see that to all these gifts I 
myself place impediments ; but do Thou also remedy 
this. I ask it of Thee in the name of Jesus Christ, who 
has promised: Whatsoever you shall ask the Father in My 
name, that will I do? Then Thou canst not refuse me. 

1 "Si quid petieritis Patrem in nomine meo, dabit vobis." John, 
xvi. 23. 

and to the Blessed Virgin XXVI I L 197 

Lord, my only desire is to love Thee, to give myself to 
Thee vyithout reserve, and no longer to be ungrateful to 
Thee, as I have hitherto been. Behold me, and gra 
ciously hear me; grant that this may be the day of my 
entire conversion to Thee, so that I may never more 
cease to love Thee. I love Thee, my God ! I love Thee, 
Infinite Goodness ! I love Thee, my love, my paradise, 
my good, my life, my all ! 

Ejaculitory prayer. My Jesus, who art all mine, Thou 
desirest me, and I desire Thee ! 

Spiritual Communion, page 124. 

Visit to the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

What relief do I feel in my miseries, and what conso 
lation in my tribulations, what strength do I not find in 
the midst of temptations, when I remember and call 
thee to my aid, O my most sweet and most holy Mother 
Mary ! Yes, indeed, you were right, O ye saints, in call 
ing my Lady " the haven of those who are in tribula 
tion," with St. Ephrem; " the repairer of our calami 
ties," 2 and " the solace of the miserable," 3 with St. Bona- 
venture; and "the rest from our mournings," 4 with St. 
Germanus. My own Mary, do thou console me. I see 
myself loaded with sins, and surrounded by enemies; 
without virtue, and cold in my love towards God. Com 
fort me, comfort me; and let my consolation be to make 
me begin a new life a life which will be really pleasing 
to thy Son and to thee. 

Ejaculatory prayer. Change me, O Mary my Mother : 
change me; thou canst do it. 

[From the Naples Edition.] 

O Mary, how lovely is the name given to thee by thv *r\ithful 

" Portus vexatorum." Or. ad Deip. 
8 " Restauratio calamitatum nostrarum." 
8 " Solatium miserorum." Cant, post Psalt. 

" Requies gemituum nostrorum." Enc. Deipara. 

198 Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament 

servants : most amiable Mother^ Yes, thou art truly amiable : 
thy beauty and thy goodness have won the heart of the King of 
kings, even of God himself. He has said to thee, How beauti 
ful thou art, my beloved ; and again, Thou art all beautiful, and 
there is no spot in thee? If, then, thou art so dear to God, how 
can 1, a miserable sinner, and indebted to thee for so many 
benefits, refuse to love thee? I love thee, therefore, my most 
amiable Queen, and I desire to be of the number of thy most 
devoted lovers. Accept my desire, and obtain for me from God 
the love which I ask, since nothing is more pleasing to him than 
to love thee.* 

Ejaculatory prayer. O my amiable Mother, grant that I 
may love thee with the greatest ardor. 

The usual prayer, page 125. 

To the Blessed Sacrament. 

My Lord Jesus Christ, etc., page 123. 

Behold, I stand at the gate, and knock? O most loving 
shepherd, who, not satisfied with sacrificing Thyself once 
to death on the altar of the cross for the love of Thy 
sheep, hast moreover been pleased to hide Thyself in this 
divine Sacrament on the altars of our churches, to be 
always near, and to knock at the doors of our hearts, 
and thus obtain Thy admission ! Ah, did I but know 
how to enjoy Thy nearness to me as did the Sacred 
Spouse in the Canticles, who says: / sat down under 
His shadow, whom I desired* Ah, did I but love Thee, 
did I but really love Thee, my most amiable Sacra 
ment, I also should wish never to leave the foot of a 

1 " Mater amabilis." 

2 " Concupivit Rex speciem tuam. Quam pulchra es, Arnica mea! 
quam pulchra es! Tola pulchra es, Arnica mea, et macula non est in 
te." Cant. iv. I, 7. 

3 " Sto ad ostium, et pulso." Apoc. iii. 20. 

4 " Sub umbra illius, quern desideraveram, sedi." Cant. ii. 3. 

* See the Seventeenth Visit, page 165. 

and to the Blessed Virgin. XXIX. 199 

tabernacle either night or day; and fixing myself near 
Thy Majesty, concealed under the apparent shadow of 
the sacred species, I also should find those divine sweet 
nesses and that happiness which souls enamoured of 
Thee there find. Ah, do Thou be graciously pleased to 
draw me by the odor of Thy beauties, and of the im 
mense love which Thou manifestest in this Sacrament: 
Draw me : we will run after Thee to the odor of Thy oint 
ments. Yes, my Saviour, I will leave creatures and all 
earthly pleasures, to run after Thee in this Sacrament : 
As olive-plants, round about Thy table? Oh, what abundant 
fruits of virtues do those happy souls, like olive-plants, 
bring forth to God, who assist with love before the 
sacred tabernacle ! But I am ashamed to appear before 
Thee, O my Jesus, so naked and so devoid of all virtues. 
Thou hast commanded that all who approach the altar 
to honor Thee should present a gift : Thou shalt not ap 
pear empty before Me. What, then, am I to do ? Am I 
no more to appear before Thee ? Ah, no ; this would 
not please Thee. Poor as I am, I will approach Thee ; 
and do Thou provide me with the gifts which Thou 
desirest. I see that Thou dwellest in the Sacrament, not 
only to reward Thy lovers, but also to provide for the 
poor out of Thy riches. 

Be it so, then ; let us now begin. I adore Thee, O 
King of my heart, and true lover of men. O shepherd, 
loving Thy sheep beyond all bounds, to this throne of 
Thy love I now approach; and having nothing else to 
present to Thee, I offer Thee my miserable heart, that it 
may be entirely consecrated to Thy love and to Thy 
good pleasure. With this heart I can love Thee, and I 
will love Thee as much as I can. Draw it, then, to Thy- 

" Trahe me: post te curremus in odorem unguentorum tuorum." 
Cant. i. 3. 

2 " Sicut novelise olivarum in circuitu mensae tuae." Ps. cxxvii. 3. 

3 " Non apparebis in conspectu mco vacuus." Excd. xxiii. 15. 

2OO Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament 

self, and bind it wholly to Thy will, so that, filled with 
consolation, it may be able from henceforth to say, as 
Thy dear disciple said, that it is bound by the chains of 
Thy love : /, Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ. 1 Unite 
me, my Lord, entirely to Thyself, and make me forget 
myself, that I may have the happiness one day to lose 
all things, and even myself, to find Thee alone, and to 
love Thee forever. I love Thee, my Sacramental Lord ; 
to Thee do I bind myself, to Thee do I unite myself ; 
make me find Thee, make me love Thee, and never more 
separate Thyself from me. 

Ejaculatory prayer. My Jesus, Thou alone art sufficient 
for me ! 

Spiritual Communion, page 124. 

Visit to the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

St. Bernard calls Mary u the royal road of the Sav 
iour;" 2 the safe road by which to find the Saviour and 
salvation. Since, then, it is true, O Queen, that thou 
art, as the same saint says, " the chariot in which our 
souls go to God," 3 the one who guides us to him, ah, 
Lady, thou must not suppose that I shall advance to 
wards God, if thou dost not carry me in thine arms ! 
Carry me, carry me ; and if I resist, carry me by main 
force ; do all the violence that thou canst by the sweet 
attractions of thy charity to my soul and to my rebellious 
will, that they may leave creatures, to seek for God alone 
and his divine will. Show the court of heaven the great 
ness of thy power. After so many wonders of thy 
mercy, show this one more: make a poor creature who 
is far from God wholly his. 

Ejaculatory prayer. O Mary, thou canst make me a 
saint ; I hope for this grace from thee ! 

1 " Ego Paulus, vinctus Christ! Jesu." Eph. Hi. I. 

2 "Via regia Salvatoris." De Adv. Dom. s. 2. 

3 " Vehiculum ad Deum animarum nostrarura." 

and to the Blessed Virgin. XXX. 201 

[From the Naples Edition.] 

O charitable Queen, thou art styled by thy servants the advo 
cate of sinners. 1 Since, then, thou art employed in defending 
sinners, who place themselves under thy protection, I fly to 
thee, and address thee in the language of one of thy most 
devoted servants, St. Thomas of Villanova : O loving advo 
cate, exercise thy office in my behalf; undertake my defence. 2 
It is true that I have been a rebel to thy beloved Son ; but the 
evil is committed : save me, then, from the dreadful conse 
quence of my rebellion. If thou tell thy divine Son that thou 
hast taken me under thy protection, I shall be pardoned and 

Ejaculatory prayer. O my Mother, my dear Mother, save me. 
The usual prayer, page 125. 

To the Blessed Sacrament. 

My Lord Jesus Chtist, etc., page 123. 

Why Jiidest Thou Thy face 1 ?* Job feared when he saw 
that God hid his face : but to know that Jesus Christ 
veils his majesty in the Most Blessed Sacrament should 
not inspire us with fear, but rather with greater love and 
confidence; since it is precisely to increase our confi 
dence, and with greater evidence to manifest his love, 
that he remains on our altars concealed under the ap 
pearance of bread. Novarinus says " that whilst God 
hides his face in this Sacrament, he discloses his love." 4 
And who would ever dare approach him with confidence, 

" Advocata omnium iniquorum ad earn confugientium." De 
Laud. V. M. 1. 2, a. 23. 

2 " Eja ergo, Advocata nostra! officium tuum imple. In Nat. B. 
V. cone. 3. 

8 " Cur faciem tuam abscondis ?" Job, xiii. 24. 

4 " Dum Deus in hoc Sacramento faciem suam abscondit, nmorem 
suum detegit." 

* Sec the Twenty-first Visit, page 176. 

2O2 Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament 

and lay bare before him his affections and desires, did 
this King of heaven appear on our altars in the splendor 
of his glory ? 

Ah, my Jesus ! what loving invention was this of the 
Most Blessed Sacrament, to hide Thyself under the ap 
pearance of bread, in order to make Thyself loved and 
that Thou mightest be found on earth by all who desire 
Thee ! The prophet was right in saying that men should 
speak and raise their voices throughout the world, in 
order to make known to all men to what an excess the 
inventions of the love of our good God go for us: Make 
His works known among the people? O most loving Heart 
of my Jesus, worthy to possess the hearts of all crea 
tures, Heart all and ever full of flames of most pure 
love ! O consuming fire, consume me all, and give me 
a new life of love and grace ! Unite me to Thyself in 
such a way that I may never more be separated from 
Thee. O Heart open to be the refuge of souls, receive 
me ! O Heart, which on the cross was so agonized for 
the sins of the world, give me true sorrow for my sins ! 
I know that in this Sacrament Thou preservest the same 
sentiments of love for me which Thou hadst for me 
when dying on Calvary; and therefore Thou hast an 
ardent desire to unite me wholly to Thyself. And is it 
possible that I should any longer resist yielding up my 
entire self to Thy love and to Thy desire? Ah, by Thy 
merits, my beloved Jesus, be pleased Thyself to wound 
me, to bind me, to force me, to unite me in all things to 
Thy Heart. I am now determined by Thy grace to give 
Thee all the pleasure that I possibly can, by trampling 
under foot all human respect, inclinations, repugnances, 
all my tastes and conveniences, which may prevent me 
from entirely pleasing Thee. Do Thou, my Lord, so 
help me, that I may execute this determination in such 

1 " Notas facile in populis adinventiones ejus." Isa. xii. 4. 

and to the Blessed Virgin. XXX. 203 

a way, that henceforward all my works, opinions, and 
affections, may be all in conformity with Thy good 
pleasure. O love of God, do Thou drive all other loves 
from my heart ! O Mary, my hope, thou art all-power 
ful with God, obtain me the grace to be a faithful ser 
vant of the pure love of Jesus until death. Amen, amen. 
So I hope : so may it be in time and in eternity ! 

Ejaculatory prayer. Who shall separate me from the 
love of Christ ! 

Spiritual Communion, page 1 24. 

Visit to the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

St. Bernard affirms, that the love of Mary towards us 
cannot be greater or more powerful than it is ; hence by 
her affection she is always abundant in her compassion 
for us, and by her power she is plentiful in the relief she 
affords us: "The most powerful and compassionate 
charity of the Mother of God abounds in tender com 
passion, and in kind relief : she is equally rich in both." : 

So that, my most pure Queen, thou art rich in power, 
and rich in compassion ; thou art able to save, and 
desirest to save all. I therefore beseech thee, now and 
always, in the words of the devout Blosius, saying : "O 
Lady ! protect me in my combats, and confirm me when 
I am wavering." O most holy Mary, in this great 
battle in which I am now engaged with hell, do thou 
always help me ; but when thou seest me wavering and 
likely to fall, O my Lady ! do thou then extend thy 
hand with greater promptitude, and sustain me with 
greater vigor. O God ! how many temptations have I 

1 "Quis me separabit a charitate Christ! ?" Rom. viii. 35. 

a " Potentissima et piissima charitas Dei Matris, et affectu compa- 
tiendi, ei subveniendi abundat effectu : aque locuples in utroque." 
In Assumpt. s. 4. 

3 "O Domina ! me pugnantem protege, me vacillantem confirma." 
- -Par. an. p. 2. c. 4. 

2O4 Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament 

still to overcome before my death ! Mary, my hope, my 
refuge, my strength, do thou protect me, and never 
allow me to lose the grace of God. And on my part I 
resolve always and instantly to have recourse to thee in 
all temptations, saying : 

Ejaculatory prayer. Help me, Mary ! Mary, help me ! 

[From the Naples Edition.] 

O Mary, we are taught by thy servant St. Bonaventure to re 
gard thee as the Mother of orphans?- Those unfortunate sin 
ners, who have lost God, their Father, are orphans indeed. I 
fly then to thee, O merciful Mother: I have by my sins lost my 
Father ; all my hope rests in thee, who still remainest as my 
Mother. I feel fresh confidence arise within me when I hear 
Innocent III. ask, Who has ever called on Mary without being 
heard ? 2 Who was ever lost that had sincere recourse to her ? 
I fly, therefore, to thy holy protection ; have compassion on me ; 
help me, and do not forsake me.* 

Ejaculatory prayer. O Mother of my God, augment daily my 
confidence in thee. 

The usual prayer, page 125. 

To the Blessed Sacrament. 

My Lord Jesus Christ, page 123. 

Oh, how beautiful a sight was it to behold our sweet 
Redeemer on that day when, fatigued by his journey, lie 
sat down, all engaging and loving, beside the well to 
await the Samaritan woman, that he might convert and 

1 " Mater orphanorum." Psalt. min. B. V. 

2 " Quis invocavit earn, et non est exauditus ab ipsa?" De Ass. 
B. V. s. 2. 

*See the Twenty-third Visit, page 181. 

and to the Blessed Virgin. XXXI. 205 

save her ! Jesus, therefore, sat thus on the well. 1 It is pre 
cisely thus that this same Lord seems sweetly to dwell 
with us all the day long, having comedown from heaven 
upon our altars as upon so many fountains of graces, 
where he awaits and invites souls to keep him company, 
at least for a while, that he may thus draw them to his 
perfect love. From every altar on which Jesus remains 
in the Most Holy Sacrament he seems to speak and ad 
dress all, saying : O men ! why do you fly my presence ? 
Why do you not come and draw near to me, who love 
you so much, and who remain thus annihilated for your 
sake ? Why do you fear? I am not now come on earth 
to judge; but I have hid myself in this Sacrament of 
love only to do good, and to save all who have recourse 
to me: I came not to judge the world, but to save the world* 

Let us, then, understand, that as Jesus Christ in 
heaven is always living to make intercession for us* so in the 
Sacrament of the A.ltar he is continually, both night and 
day, exercising the compassionate office of our Advocate; 
offering himself as a victim for us to the Eternal Father, 
thus to obtain for us his mercies and innumerable graces. 
Therefore the devout Thomas a Kern pis says, that we 
ought to approach and converse with Jesus in the 
Blessed Sacrament without the fear of chastisement, 
and unrestrained, as to a beloved friend, " as one who 
loves speaks to his beloved, as a friend to a friend." 4 

Since, then, Thou thus givest me permission, let me, 
O my hidden King and Lord, now open my heart to Thee 
with confidence, and say: O my Jesus ! O enamoured 

1 "Jesus ergo, fatigatus ex itinere, sedebat sic supra fontem." 
John, iv. 6. 

2 " Non veni ut judicem mundum, sed ut salvificem mundum." 
John. xii. 47. 

"Semper vivens ad interpellandum pro nobis." Heb. vii. 25. 

4 " Sicut solet dilectus ad dilectum loqui, et amicus cum amico con- 
vivari." Imit. Chr. B. 4, c. 13. 

206 Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament 

of souls, I well know the injustice that men do Thee. 
Thou lovest them, and art not beloved by them; Thou 
doest good, and receives! contempt; Thou desirest to 
make them hear Thy voice, and they give Thee no ear; 
Thou offerest them Thy graces, and they refuse them. 
Ah, my Jesus ! and is it true that I also at one time 
joined these ungrateful creatures in thus displeasing 
Thee ? O God, it is but too true ? But I am deter 
mined to amend, and to endeavor during the time that 
I still have to live, to make up for the displeasure which 
I have caused Thee, hy doing all that I possibly can to 
please Thee and to give Thee pleasure. Tell me, Lord, 
what Thou askest of me, I will execute all without any 
reserve: make it known to me by the means of holy 
obedience, and I hope to do it. My God, I now reso 
lutely promise Thee that I will never, from this day for 
ward, omit anything which I know to be, rather than 
another, pleasing to Thee, even were I thereby to lose 
all -parents, friends, esteem, health, and even life. Let 
all perish, provided Thou art pleased. Happy is that 
loss, when all is lost and sacrificed to satisfy Thy heart, 
O God of my soul ! I love Thee, O sovereign good, 
worthy of love above every other good; and in loving 
Thee I unite my poor heart to all the hearts with which 
the seraphim love Thee; I unite it to the heart of Mary, 
to the Heart of Jesus. I love Thee with my entire 
self; Thee alone will I love, and Thee alone will I always 

Ejaculatory prayer. My God, my God ! I am Thine, and 
Thou art mine ! 

Spiritual Communion, page 124. 

Visit to the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

Blessed Amadeus says that our most blessed Queen, 
Mary, is always in the divine presence, acting as our ad- 

and to the Blessed Virgin. XXXI. 207 

vocate, and interposing with God by her prayers, which 
are most powerful: " The most blessed Virgin stands 
before the face of her Creator, interceding with her most 
powerful prayers for us. For," he adds, " she well sees 
our miseries and our dangers, and the most clement and 
sweet Lady compassionates and succors us with a 
mother s love." 

Thou, my advocate and my most loving Mother, thou 
even now seest the miseries of my soul; thou seest my dan 
gers, and prayest for me. Pray, pray, and cease not to 
pray, until thou seest me saved and thanking thee in 
heaven . The devout Blosius tells me that thou, O most 
sweet Mary, art, after Jesus, the certain salvation of those 
who are thy faithful servants. 2 Ah ! this grace I now ask 
thee: grant me the happy lot of being thy faithful ser 
vant until death; that after death I may go to bless thee 
in heaven, where I shall be certain never more, as long 
as God is God, to leave thy sacred feet. 
- Ejaculatory prayer. O Mary, my Mother, grant that I 
may be ever thine ! 

[From the Naples Edition.] 

O Mary, thou art the tower of David, and therefore art able to 
defend those who take refuge under thee. Protect all who are 
engaged in the contest. I experience continual assaults from 
my enemies, who are striving to deprive me of the grace of God, 
and to withdraw me from thy protection. But thou art the 
fortress and the bulwark of our hope ; thou dost not disdain to 
fight in behalf of those who trust in thee. O Mary, defend me, 
then, against all my enemies, and tight my battles for me, because 
I rely with confidence on thee.* 

"Adstat Beatissima Virgo vultui Conditoris, prece potentissima 
semper interpellans pro nobis. Videt enim nostra discrimina, nos- 
trique clemens ac dulcis Domina materno affectu miseretur." De 
Laud. B. V. horn. S. 

" Tu post Unigenitum tuum certa fidelium salus." Pat: an. p. 
2, c. 4. 

* See the Twenty-seventh Visit, page 192. 

208 Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament. 

Ejaculatory prayer. O Mary, thou art my protectress. 
The usual prayer, page 125. 

My Good, my God, all mine Thou art; 
Myself I give Thee, all my heart; 
For Thee, and Thee alone, I sigh. 

What have I in heaven ? and besides Thee, what do I desire 
upon earth ? Thou art the God of my heart, and the God that 
is my portion forever. 1 

1 "Quid enim mihi est in coelo ? et a Te quid volui super terram ? 
Deus cordis mei, et oars mea Deus in aeternum." Ps. Ixxii. 25, 26. 

Hymns. 209 


Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament enclosed in the Tabernacle. 

O FLOWERS, O happy flowers, which day and night 

So near to my own Jesus silent stay, 
And never leave him, till before his sight 

At length your life in fragrance fades away! 
Could I, too, always make my dwelling-place 

In that dear spot to which your charms you lend. 
Oh, what a blessed lot were mine ! what grace, 

Close to my truest Life, my life to end ! 

O lights! O happy lights, which burn away, 

The presence of our Jesus to proclaim ; 
Ah ! could I see my heart become one day 

Like you, all fire of love and burning flame, 
Then, as you waste away, so would I die, 

Like you, consumed with fire of love divine; 
Oh ! how I envy you ! How blest were I 

Could I but change your happy lot with mine ! 

O sacred pyx ! thou art more favored still, 

For thou my love concealed dost here enclose ; 
What nobler, happier part could creature fill ? 

In thee thy very God deigns to repose ! 
Ah ! were thy office but for one brief day 

On this my poor and frozen breast bestow d, 
Then would my heart be melted all away, 

Of love and fire become the blest abode ! 


2 TO Hymns. 

But ah, sweet flowers, bright lights, and pyx so blest ! 

Far, far more fortunate than you am I, 
When my Beloved comes within my breast, 

All loving like a tender lamb to lie ; 
And I, poor worm, in this frail host receive 

My good, my all, the God of Majesty ! 
Why then not burn ? my life why then not give, 

Since here my treasure gives himself to me ? 

Away, like fluttering moth around the light, 

My raptured soul, about thy Jesus fly, 
Inflamed with faith and love ; and at the sight 

Of thy beloved ever burn and sigh ! 
And when the hour arrives, and he is thine 

Whose very sight make Paradise above, 
Oh, press him to thy heart with fire divine, 

And say thou wilt but love, love, only love ! 

The Visit to Jesus on the Altar. 

WHEN the loving Shepherd, 

Ere he left the earth, 
Shed, to pay our ransom, 

Blood of priceless worth, 
These his lambs so cherish d, 

Purchased for his own, 
He would not abandon 

In the world alone. 

Ere he makes us partners 

Of his realm on high, 
Happy and immortal 

With him in the sky, 
Love immense, stupendous, 

Makes him here below 
Partner of our exile 

In this world of woe. 

Hymns. 211 

Lest one heart that loves him 

E er should sigh with pain, 
Pining for his presence, 

Seeking him in vain, 
He on earth would tarry 

Near to every one, 
That each heart might find him 

On his altar-throne. 

Yes, upon that altar, 

Captive in his cell, 
Burning with affection, 

Jesus deigns to dwell. 
Thence he seeks to kindle 

With his heavenly fires 
Every heart that truly 

To his love aspires. 

How that fire enkindles, 

Piercing like a dart, 
He alone is witness 

Who has felt its smart ; 
Though the heart approaches 

Cold as falling snow, 
Soon it melts and kindles 

From the furnace glow. 

Say, ye souls enamour d, 

What blest flames you feel : 
Say, what fiery arrows 

Pierce you as you kneel, 
When you come to worship 

Where your Jesus lies, 
All your love awaiting, 

Hid from mortal eyes. 

Jesus, food of angels ! 

Monarch of the heart, 
Oh, that I could never 

From Thy face depart 1 

212 Hymns. 

Yes, Thou ever dwellest 
Here for love of me, 

Hidden Thou remainest, 
God of Majesty ! 

Soon I hope to see Thee, 

And enjoy Thy love, 
Face to face, sweet Jesus, 

In Thy heaven above. 
But on earth an exile 

My delight shall be, 
Ever to be near Thee, 

Veiled for love of me 

Habitations for tlje <>ctat>e of (Horpns <l)risti. 

The Love of Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament. 

OUR most loving Redeemer, knowing that he must 
leave this earth and return to his Father as soon as he 
should have accomplished the work of our redemption 
by his death, and seeing that the hour of his death was 
now come, Jesus knowing that His hour was conic, that He 
should pass out of this world unto the Father^ would not 
leave us alone in this valley of tears, and therefore what 
lid lie do? He instituted the Most Holy Sacrament of 
tiie Eucharist, in which he left us his whole self. "No 
tongue," said St. Peter of Alcantara, " is able to declare 
the greatness of the love that Jesus bears to every soul: 
and therefore this Spouse, when he would leave this 
earth, in order that his absence might not cause us to 
forget him, left us as a memorial this Blessed Sacrament, 
in which he himself remained; for he would not that there 
should be any other pledge to keep alive our remembrance 
of him than he himself." Jesus, therefore, would not be 
separated from us by his death; but he instituted this 
Sacrament of love in order to be with us even to the end of 
the world : Behold I am with you even to the consummation of 
the world? Behold him, then, as faith teaches us, be 
hold him on so many altars shut up as in so many prisons 
of love, in order that he may be found by every one that 

" Sciens Jesus quia venit hora ejus, ut transeat ex hoc mundo ad 
Patrem." John, xiii. i. 

" Ecce ego vobiscum sum omnibus diebus, usque ad consumma- 
tionem soeculi." Alatt. xxviii. 20. 

214 Meditations for the 

seeks him. But, O Lord, says St. Bernard, this does not 
become Thy majesty. Jesus Christ answers, It is enough 
that it becomes my love. 

They feel great tenderness and devotion who go to 
Jerusalem and visit the cave where the Incarnate Word 
was born, the hall where he was scourged, the hill of 
Calvary on which he died, and the sepulchre where he 
was buried; but how much greater ought our tender 
ness to be when we visit an altar on which Jesus remains 
in the Most Holy Sacrament ! The Ven. Father John 
Avila used to say, that of all sanctuaries there is not one 
to be found more excellent and devout than a church 
where Jesus is sacramentally present. 

Affections and Prayers. 

O my beloved Jesus, O God, who hast loved men with so ex 
ceeding love ! what more canst Thou do to make Thyself loved 
by these ungrateful men ? Oh, if men loved Thee, all the 
churches would be continually filled with people prostrate on 
the ground adoring and thanking Thee, and burning with love 
for Thee at seeing Thee with the eyes of faith hidden in a 
tabernacle. But no ; men, forgetful of Thee and of Thy love, 
are ready enough to court a man from whom they hope for some 
miserable advantage, while they leave Thee, O my Lord, aban 
doned and alone. Oh that I could by my devotion make rep 
aration for such ingratitude ! I am sorry that I also have 
hitherto been, like them, careless and ungrateful. But for the 
future I will not be so any longer, and I will devote myself to 
Thy service as much as I possibly can. Do Thou inflame me 
with Thy holy love, so that from this day forth I may live only 
to love and to please Thee. Thou deservest the love of all 
hearts. If at one time I have despised Thee, I now desire 
nothing but to love Thee. O my Jesus, Thou art my love and 
my only good, " my God and my all." 1 

Most holy Virgin Mary, obtain for me, I pray thee, a great 
love for the Most Holy Sacrament. 

1 " Deus metis, et omnia !" 

Octave of Corpus Christi. 215 


Jesus remains on the Altar, that Every One may be able to 
find Him. 

St. Teresa said, that in this world it is impossible for 
all subjects to speak to the king. As for the poor, the 
most they can hope for is, to speak with him by means of 
some third person. But to speak with Thee, O King of 
Heaven, there is no need of third persons; for every one 
that wishes can find Thee in the Most Holy Sacrament, 
and can speak to Thee at his pleasure and without re 
straint. For this reason, said the same saint, Jesus Christ 
has concealed his majesty in the Sacrament, under the 
appearance of bread, in order to give us more confi 
dence, and to take away from us all fear of approaching 

Oh, how Jesus seems continually to exclaim from the 
altar: Come to Me, all you that labor and are burdened, and I 
will refresli you. 1 Come, he says, come, ye poor: come, 
ye infirm; come, ye afflicted; come, ye just and ye sin 
ners, and you shall find in me a remedy for all your losses 
and afflictions: such is the desire of Jesus Christ; to 
console every one who has recourse to him, he remains 
day and night on our altars, that he maybe found by all, 
and that he may bestow favors upon all. Hence the 
saints experienced in this world such pleasure in remain 
ing in the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, 
that days and nights appeared to them as moments. The 
Countess of Feria having become a nun of the Order of 
St. Clare, was never wearied of remaining in the choir in 
sight of the tabernacle: being asked one day what she 
was doing so long before the Most Holy Sacrament, 
she answered with surprise: "What do I do before the 

1 " Venite ad me omnes, qui laboratis et onerati estis, et ego re- 
ficiam vos." Matt. xi. 28. 

216 Meditations for the 

Blessed Sacrament? what do I do ? I return thanks, I 
love and I pray !" St. Philip Neri being in the presence 
of the Blessed Sacrament, exclaimed: "Behold my love, 
behold all my love ?" Ah, if Jesus were thus our whole 
love, days and nights in his presence would appear also 
to us as moments. 

Affections and Prayers. 

O my Jesus, from this day forward I also hope to say always 
to Thee, when I come to visit Thee on Thy altars : " Behold my 
love, behold all my love !" Yes, my beloved Redeemer, I will 
love none other but Thee; I desire that Thou shouldst be the 
only love of my soul. I seem to die of sorrow when I think that 
hitherto I have loved creatures and my own pleasures more than 
Thee, and have turned my back upon Thee, the sovereign good. 
But Thou wouldst not have me lost, and therefore hast Thou 
borne with me with so much patience ; and instead of chastising 
me, Thou hast pierced my heart with so many darts of love, 
that I could no longer resist Thy kindness, but have given my 
self up to Thee ; I see that Thou wouldst have me to be entirely 
Thine. But since Thou wouldst have it to be so, do Thou 
make me so Thyself ; for it is Thou who must do it. Do Thou 
detach my heart from all earthly affections and from myself, and 
grant that I may seek none other but Thee, that I may think of 
none but Thee, that I may speak of none but Thee, and that I 
may only desire and sigh to burn with love for Thee, and to live 
and die for Thee alone. O love of my Jesus, come and occupy 
my whole heart, and expel from it all other love" but that of 
God ! I love Thee, O Jesus in the Sacrament, I love Thee, my 
treasure, my love, my all. 

O Mary, my hope, pray for me, and make me belong entirely 
to Jesus. 


The Great Gift which Jesus has made us by Giving Himself 
to us in the Blessed Sacrament.. 

The love of Jesus Christ was not satisfied with sacri 
ficing for us his divine life in the midst of a sea of igno 
minies and torments, in order to prove to us the affection 

Octave of Corpus Christi. 217 

that he bore us; but besides all this, in order to oblige 
us to love him more, on the night before his death he 
would leave us his whole self as our food in the Holy 
Eucharist. God is omnipotent; but after he has given 
himself to a soul in this Sacrament of love, he has nothing 
more to give her. The Council of Trent says, that Jesus, 
in giving himself to us in the Holy Communion, pours 
forth, as it were, all the riches of his infinite love in this 
gift: " He has, as it were, poured forth the treasures of 
his love towards man." ] How would that vassal esteem 
himself honored, writes St. Francis de Sales, were his 
prince, whilst he was at table, to send him a portion of 
his own dish; and what would it be if this portion were 
a piece torn out from his own arm ? Jesus in the Holy 
Communion gives us for our food, not only a portion of 
his own meal and of his most sacred flesh, but all his 
body: Take and eat, this is My Body? And together with 
his body he gives us also his soul and his divinity; so that, 
as St. Chrysostom says, our Lord, in giving himself to 
us in the Blessed Sacrament, gives us all that he has, 
and nothing more remains for him to give us : " He gave 
all to Thee, and left nothing for himself." O wonderful 
prodigy of divine love, that God, who is the Lord of all, 
makes himself entirely ours ! 

Affections and Prayers. 

my dear Jesus, what more canst Thou do to make us love 
Thee ? Oh, make us understand what an excess of love Thou 
hast shown us in reducing Thyself to food, in order to unite 
Thyself thus to us poor sinners ! Thou, therefore, my dear Re 
deemer, hast had so much affection for me, that Thou hast not 
refused to give Thyself again and again entirely for me in Holy 
Communion. And yet I have had the courage to drive Thee 
so many times away from my soul ! But Thou canst not despise 

1 " Divitias divini sui erga homines amoris velut effudit." Sess. 
xiii. c. 2. 

l " Accipite et cotnedite; hoc est corpus meum." Matt. xxvi. 26. 

218 Meditations for the 

an humble and a contrite heart. Thou didst become man for 
my sake, Thou didst die for me, Thou didst even go so far as to 
become my food ; and what more can there remain for Thee to 
do to gain my love ? Oh, that I could die with grief every time 
that I remember to have thus despised Thy grace ! I repent, 

my love, with my whole heart for having offended Thee. I 
love Thee, O infinite goodness! I love Thee, O infinite love! 

1 desire nothing but to love Thee, and I fear nothing but to live 
without Thy love. My beloved Jesus, do not refuse to come 
for the future into my soul. Come, because I would rather die 
a thousand times than drive Thee away again, and I will do all 
I can to please Thee. Come and inflame my whole soul with 
Thy love. Grant that I may forget everything, to think only 
of Thee, and to aspire to Thee alone, my sovereign and my only 

Mary, my Mother, pray for me ; and by thy prayers make 
me grateful for all the love of Jesus towards me. 


The Great Love which Jesus Christ has shown us in the 
Blessed Sacrament. 

Jesus, knowing that His hour was come, that He should pass 
out of this world to the Father : having loved His own who 
were in the world, He loved them to the end? Jesus, knowing 
that the hour of his death was come, desired to leave us, 
before he died, the greatest pledge of his affection that 
he could give us; and this was the gift of the Most Holy 
Sacrament: He loved them to the end; which St. Chrysostom 
explains, " He loved them with extreme love." He loved 
men with the greatest love with which he could love 
them, by giving them his whole self. But at what time 
did Jesus institute this great Sacrament, in which he has 
left us himself? On the night preceding his death: 
The same night in which He was betrayed (writes the Apos- 

1 "Sciens Jesus quia venit hora ejus, ut transeat ex hoc mundo ad 
Patrem, cum dilexisset suos, ... in finem dilexit eos." -John, 
xiii. i. 

Octave of Corpus Christi. 219 

tie), He took bread; and giving thanks, broke and said, Take 
ye and eat; this is My Body."- At the very time that men 
were preparing to put him to death, he gave them this 
last proof of his love. The marks of affection which we 
receive from our friends at the time of their death re 
main more deeply impressed on our hearts; for this 
reason did Jesus bestow on us this gift of the Blessed 
Sacrament just before his death. With reason, then, did 
St. Thomas call this gift "a sacrament and pledge of 
love;" 2 and St. Bernard, "the love of loves;" 3 because 
in this Sacrament Jesus Christ united and accomplished 
all the other acts of love which he had shown us. Hence 
St. Mary Magdalene of Pazzi called the day on which 
Jesus instituted this Sacrament "the day of love." 

Affections and Prayers. 

O infinite love of Jesus, worthy of being loved with a like in 
finite love! Thou, my Lord, dost love men so much ; how is it, 
then, that men love Thee so little in return ? What more 
couldst Thou do to make Thyself loved by them ? O my Jesus, 
Thou art so amiable and so loving ; make thyself, I pray Thee, 
known ; make Thyself loved. When shall I love Thee as Thou 
hast love me? Oh, discover to me more and more the great 
ness of Thy mercy, in order that I may burn ever more and 
more with Thy love, and always seek to please Thee. O be 
loved one of my soul, would that I had always loved Thee ! 
Alas, there was a time when I not only did not love Thee, but 
despised Thy grace and Thy love! I am consoled by the sorrow 
which I feel for it, and I hope for pardon through Thy promise 
to forgive him that repents of his sins. To Thee, O my Saviour, 
do I turn all my affections ; help me, through the merits of Thy 
Passion, to love Thee with my whole strength. Oh, that I 
could die for Thee, as Thou didst die for me! 

Mary, my Mother, do thou obtain for me the grace hence 
forth to love God alone. 

1 " In quanocte tradebatur, accepit panem, et gratias agens fregit, et 
dixit : Accipite et manducate ; hoc est corpus meum." I Cor. xi. 23. 

2 " Sacramentum charitatis, summce charitatis pignus." 

3 " Amor amorum." 

220 Meditations for the 

The Union of the Soul with Jesus in the Holy Communion. 

St. Dionysius the Areopagite says that the principal 
effect of love is to tend to union. For this very purpose 
did Jesus institute the Holy Communion, that he might 
unite himself entirely to our souls. He had given him 
self to us as our master, our example, and our victim; it 
only remained for him to give himself to us as our food, 
that he might become one with us; as food becomes one 
with the person that eats it. This he did by instituting 
this Sacrament of love: "The last degree of love" (says 
St. Bernardine of Sienna) "is when he gave himself to 
us to be our food; because he gave himself to be united 
with us in every way, as food and he who takes it are 
mutually united." : 

So that Jesus Christ was not satisfied with uniting 
himself to our human nature ; but he w r ould, by this 
Sacrament, find a way of uniting himself also to each 
one of us, so as to make himself wholly one with him 
who receives him. Hence St. Francis de Sales writes: 
" In no other action can our Saviour be considered more 
tender or more loving than in this, in which he, as it 
were, annihilates himself, and reduces himself to food, 
that he may penetrate our souls, and unite himself to the 
hearts of his faithful." 2 Because Jesus loved us ar 
dently, he desired to unite himself to us in the Holy 
Eucharist, in order that we might become the same thing 
with him; thus writes St. Chrysostom: "He mingled 
himself with us, that we might be one; for this belongs 
to those who love greatly." Thou wouldst, in short, 

1 " Ultimus gradus amoris est, cum se dedit nobis in cibum ; quia 
dedit se nobis ad omnimodam unionem, sicut cibus et cibans invicem 
uniuntur." T. ii. s. 54, a. i, c. i. 

2 Introd. p. 2, ch. 21. 

3 " Semetipsum nobis immiscuit, ut unum quid simus ; ardenter 
enim amantium hoc est." Ad pop Ant, horn. 61. 

Octave of Corpus Christi. 221 

O God of love, that our hearts and Thine should form 
but one heart. " Thou wouldst that we should have one 
heart with Thee," said St. Laurence Justinian. 1 

And Jesus himself said this: He that eateth My flesh 
abideth in Me, and I in him? He, therefore, that com 
municates, abides in Jesus, and Jesus abides in him; and 
this union is not of mere affection, but it is a true and 
real union. As two wax tapers, when melted, says St. 
Cyril of Alexandria, 3 unite themselves into one, so he 
that communicates becomes one with Jesus Christ. Let 
us, therefore, imagine, when we communicate, that Jesus 
Christ says to us that which he said one day to his be 
loved servant, Margaret of Ypres : "Behold, O my 
daughter, the beautiful union between me and thee; 
come, then, love me, and let us remain constantly united 
in love, and never more be separated." 

Affections and Prayers. 

my Jesus, this is what I seek of Thee, and what I will al 
ways seek for from Thee in the Holy Communion : " Let us be 
always united, and never more be separated." I know that 
Thou wilt not separate Thyself from me, if I do not first sepa 
rate myself from Thee. But this is my fear, lest I should in 
future separate myself from Thee by sin, as I have done in times 
past. O my blessed Redeemer, permit it not : " Suffer me not 
to be separated from Thee." As long as I am alive, I am in 
danger of this ; oh, through the merits of Thy death, I beseech 
Thee let me die, rather than repeat this great injury against 
Thee. I repeat it, and pray Thee to grant me Thy grace always 
to repeat : " Suffer me not to be separated from Thee ; suffer 
me not to be separated from Thee." 4 O God of my soul, I love 
Thee ; I love Thee, and will always love Thee, and will love 
Thee alone. I protest before heaven and earth that I desire 

1 " Voluisti ut tecum unum cor haberemus." De Inc. div. ant. c. 5. 

2 " Qui manducat meam carnem . . . , in me manet, et ego in 
illo." John, vi. 57. 

3 In Jo. 1. 4, c. 17. 

4 " Ne permittas me separari a te!" 

222 Meditations for the 

Thee alone, and nothing but Thee. O my Jesus, hear me; I 
desire Thee alone, and nothing but Thee. 

Mary, Mother of mercy, pray for me now ; and obtain for 
me the grace never more to separate myself from Jesus, and to 
love only Jesus. 


The Desire which Jesus Christ has to Unite Himself to us in the 
Holy Communion. 

Jesus knowing that His hour was come* This hour, 
which Jesus called * His hour," was the hour of that 
night in which his Passion was to begin. But why did 
he call so sad an hour his hour? Because this was the 
hour for which he had sighed during his whole life, hav 
ing determined to leave us in this night the Holy Com 
munion, by which he desired to unite himself entirely to 
the souls whom he loved, and for whom he was soon to 
give his blood and his life. Behold how he spoke on 
that night to his disciples: With desire have I desired to 
eat this Pasch with you? By which words he would ex 
press to us the desire and anxiety that he had to unite 
himself to us in this Sacrament of love. With desire 
have I desired , -.these words, said St. Laurence Justinian, 
were words which came from the Heart of Jesus, which 
was burning with infinite love: This is the voice of 
the most ardent charity." : 

Now the same flame which burnt then in the Heart of 
Jesus burns there at present; and he gives the same in 
vitation to all of us to-day to receive him as he did then 
to his disciples. Take ye and eat ; this is My Body? And 
to allure us to receive him with affection, he promises 

1 "Sciens Jesus quia venit hora ejus." John, xiii. i. 

2 " Desiderio desideravi hoc pascha manducare vobiscum." Luke, 
xxii. 15. 

3 " Flagrantissimse charitatis est vox hsec." De Tr. Chr. Ag. c. 2. 

4 " Accipite et comedite; hoc est corpus meum." Matt. xxvi. 26. 

Octave of Corpus Christi. 223 

Paradise to us: He that eateth My flesh hath everlasting 
life. 1 And if we refuse to receive him, he threatens us 
with death: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, you 
shall not have life in you? 1 

These invitations, promises, and threats, all arise from 
the desire of Jesus Christ to unite himself to us in Holy 
Communion, through the love that he bears us. " There 
is not a bee," said our Lord to St. Mechtilde, " which seeks 
the honey out of the flowers with such eagerness of de 
light, as I have to enter into the souls that desire me." 
Jesus, because he loves us, desires to be loved by us ; 
and because he desires us he will have us desire him. 
" God thirsts to be thirsted after," 4 writes St. Gregory. 
Blessed is that soul that approaches Holy Communion 
with a great desire to be united to Jesus Christ. 

Affections and Prayers. 

My adorable Jesus, Thou canst not give us greater proofs of 
Thy love, to show us how much Thou lovest us. Thou hast 
given Thy life for us ; Thou hast bequeathed Thyself to us in 
the Holy Sacrament, in order that we may come and nourish 
ourselves with Thy flesh ; and Thou art most anxious that we 
should receive Thee. How, then, can we behold all these proofs 
of Thy love, and not burn with love for Thee ? Begone, ye 
earthly affections, begone from my heart ; it is you that hinder 
me from burning with love for Jesus as he burns with love for 
me. And what other pledges of Thy love can I expect, O my 
Redeemer, than those which Thou hast already given me ? Thou 
hast sacrificed Thy whole life for the love of me; Thou hast 
embraced for my sake a most bitter and infamous death ; Thou 
hast for my sake reduced Thyself almost to annihilation, by be 
coming food in the Holy Eucharist in order to give Thyself 

1 " Qui manducat meam carnem . . . , habet vitam seternam." 
John, vi. 55. 

2 " Nisi manckicaveritis carnem Filii hominis . . . , non habebitis 
vitam in vobis." Ibid. 54. 

3 Spir. Grat. 1. 2, c. 3. 

4 "Shit sitiri Deus." Tetr. Sent. 37. 

224 Meditations for the 

entirely to us. O Lord, let me no longer live ungrateful for 
such great goodness. I thank Thee for having given me time 
to bewail the offences I have committed against Thee, and to 
love Thee during the days that remain to me in this life. I re 
pent, O sovereign good, for having hitherto despised Thy love. 
I love Thee, O infinite goodness ! I love Thee, O infinite treas 
ure ! I love Thee, O infinite love who art worthy of infinite 
love ! Oh, help me, my Jesus, to discard from my heart all 
affections that are not directed to Thee; so that from this day 
forward I may not desire, nor seek, nor love any other but Thee. 
My beloved Lord, grant that 1 may always find Thee, grant that 
I may always love Thee. Do Thou take possession of my whole 
will, in order that I may never desire anything but what is pleas 
ing to Thee. My God, my God, whom shall I love, if I love not 
Thee, who art the supreme good ? I do indeed desire Thee, 
and nothing more. O Mary, my Mother, take my heart into 
thy keeping, and fill it with pure love for Jesus Christ. 

Holy Communion Obtains for us Perseverance in Divine Grace. 

When Jesus comes to the soul in Holy Communion, 
he brings to it every grace, and specially the grace of 
holy perseverance. This is the principal effect of the 
Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar, to nourish the soul 
that receives it with this food of life, and to give it great 
strength to advance unto perfection, and to resist those 
enemies who desire our death. Hence Jesus calls him 
self in this Sacrament heavenly bread: / am the living 
Bread which came down from heaven ; if any man eat of this 
Bread, he shall live forever? Even as earthly bread sus 
tains the life of the body, so this heavenly bread sustains 
the life of the soul, by making it persevere in the grace 
of God. 

Therefore the Council of Trent teaches that Holy 
Communion is that remedy which delivers us from daily 

1 " Ego sum panis vivus, qui de coelo descendi ; si quis manducaverit 
ex hoc pane, vivet in seternum." -John, vi. 51. 

Octave of Cor pits Christi. 225 

faults ana preserves us from mortal sins. 1 Innocent III. 
writes 2 that Jesus Christ by his Passion delivers us from 
sins committed, and by the Holy Eucharist from sins 
which we might commit. Therefore St. Bonaventure 
says that sinners must not keep away from Communion 
because they have been sinners ; on the contrary, for this 
very reason they ought to receive it more frequently ; 
because the more infirm a person feels himself, the 
more he is in want of a physician." 

Affections and Prayers. 

Miserable sinner that I am, O Lord, wherefore do I lament 
my weakness when I consider my many falls from grace ? How 
was it possible that I should have resisted the assaults of the 
devil while I stayed away from Thee, who art my strength ? If 
I had oftener approached the Holy Communion, I should not 
have been so often overcome by my enemies. But in future it 
shall not be so : In Thee, O Lord, have I hoped ; I shall not be 
confounded forever* No, I will no longer rely on my own 
resolution. Thou alone art my hope, O my Jesus ; Thou wilt 
give me strength, that I may no more fall into sin. I am weak ; 
but Thou, by Holy Communion, wilt make me strong against 
every temptation : / can do all things in Him who strengthened 
me? Forgive me, O my Jesus, all the offences I have com 
mitted against Thee, of which I repent with my whole heart. I 
resolve rather to die than ever to offend Thee again ; and I 
trust, in Thy Passion, that Thou wilt give me Thy help to per 
severe in Thy grace to the end of my life : In Thee, O Lord, 
have I hoped ; I shall not be confounded forever. 

And with St. Bonaventure I will say the same to thee, O 
Mary, my Mother: "In thee, O Lady, have I hoped; I shall 
not be confounded forever." 

1 " Antidotum, quo liberemur a culpis quotidianis, et a peccatis mor- 
talibus praeservemur." S?ss. xiii. c. 2. 

2 DC Alt. My st. 1. 4, c. 44. 

" Tanto magis seger necesse habet requirere medicum, quanto 
magis senserit se aegrotum. De Prof. rel. I. 2, c. 77. 

4 "lute, Domine, speravi; non confundar in acternum." Ps. xxx. 2. 

5 "Omnia possum in eo qui me confortat." Phil. iv. 13. 


226 Meditations for the 

Preparation for Communion and Thanksgiving after it. 

Cardinal Bona asks wherefore it happens that so many 
souls, after so many Communions, make so little advance 
in the way of God? and he answers: "The fault is not 
in the food, but in the disposition of him who eats it;" 
that is to say, in the want of due preparation on the part 
of the communicant. Fire soon burns dry wood, but not 
that which is green, because the latter is not fit to burn. 
The saints derived great profit from their Communions, 
because they were very careful in their preparation 
for it. 

There are two principal things which we should en 
deavor to obtain in order to prepare ourselves for Holy 

The first is, detachment from creatures, by driving 
from our heart everything that is not of God and for 
God. Although the soul may be in a state of grace, yet 
if the heart is occupied by earthly affections the more 
there is of earth in the soul, so much less room will there 
be for divine love. St. Gertrude once asked our Lord 
what preparation he required of her for Holy Com 
munion, and Jesus answered her: " I require none other 
from thee than that thou shouldst come to receive me 
void of thyself."" 

The second thing that is necessary in order to reap 
great fruit from Communion is, the desire to receive 
Jesus Christ with the view, of loving him more. Gerson 8 
says that at this banquet none are satiated but those 
who feel great hunger. Hence St. Francis de Sales 

1 " Defectus non in cibo est, sed in edentis dispositione." De Sacr. 
M. c. 6, 6. 

2 Insin. 1. 4, c. 26. 

3 Sup. Magn. tr. 9, p. I. 

Octave of Cor pits Christi. 227 

writes, that the principal intention of a soul in receiving 
Communion should be to advance in the love of God. 
" He" (says the saint) "should be received for love, who 
out of pure love alone gives himself to us." And there 
fore Jesus said to St. Mechtilde: "When thou art going 
to communicate, desire all the love that any soul ever 
had for me, and I will receive it according to thy desire, 
as if it were thine own." 2 

It is also necessary to make a thanksgiving after Com 
munion. There is no prayer more dear to God than 
that which is made after Communion. We must occupy 
this time in acts of love and prayers. The devout acts 
of love which we then make have greater merit in the 
sight of God than those which we make at other times, 
because they are then animated by the presence of Jesus 
Christ, who is united to our souls. And as to prayers, 
St. Teresa says that Jesus, after Communion, remains in 
the soul as on a throne of grace, and says to it: What 
wilt thou that I should do for thee ? 3 Soul, I am come from 
heaven on purpose to bestow graces upon thee ; ask me 
what thou wilt, and as much as thou wilt, and thou shalt 
be heard. Oh, what treasures of grace do they lose who 
pray but a short time to God after Holy Communion ! 

Affections and Prayer 

O God of love, dost Thou, then, so much desire to dispense 
Thy favors to us, and yet are we so little anxious to obtain 
them ? Oh, what sorrow we shall feel at the hour of death, 
when we think of this negligence, so pernicious to our souls! 
O my Lord, forget, I beseech Thee, all that is past; for the 
future, with Thy help, I will prepare myself better, by endeavor 
ing to detach my affections from everything that prevents me 
from receiving all those graces which Thou desirest to bestow 
upon me. And after Communion I will lift up my heart to Thee 

1 Introd. p. 2, ch. 21. 

2 Spir. Graf. \. 3, c. 22. 

3 " Quid tibi vis faciam ?" Mark, x. 51. 

228 Meditations for the Octave of Corpus Christi. 

as much as I can, in order to obtain Thy help that I may ad 
vance in Thy love, oh, grant me grace to accomplish this. O 
my Jesus, how negligent have I hitherto been in loving Thee! 
The time which Thou in Thy mercy mayest yet allot to me in 
this life, is the time to prepare myself for death, and to make 
amends by my love for the offences I have committed against 
Thee. I will spend it entirely in lamenting my sins and in lov 
ing Thee. I love Thee, my Jesus, my love ; I love Thee, my 
only Good ; have pity on me, and do not forsake me. 

And thou, O Mary, my hope, do not cease to help me by thy 
holy intercession ! 

Noucna to tl)c Sacrcb ^cart of ,1 esits.* 


THE devotion of all devotions is love for Jesus Christ, and 
frequent meditation on the love which this amiable Redeemer 
has borne and still bears to us. 

A devout author laments, and most justly, the sight of so 
many persons vyho pay much attention to the practice of 
various devotions, but neglect this ; and of many preachers and 
confessors, who say a great many things, but speak little of 
love for Jesus Christ: whereas love for Jesus Christ ought to 
be the principal, indeed the only, devotion of a Christian ; and 
therefore the only object and care of preachers and confessors 
towards their hearers and penitents ought to be to recommend 
to them constantly, and to inflame their hearts with, the love 
of Jesus Christ. This neglect is the reason why souls make so 
little progress in virtue, and remain grovelling in the same 
defects, and even frequently relapse into grievous sins, because 
they take but little care, and are not sufficiently admonished to 
acquire the love of Jesus Christ, which is that golden cord 
which unites and binds the soul to God. 

For this sole purpose did the Eternal Word come into this 
world, to make himself loved : I am conic to cast fire on the 
earth, and what will I but that it be kindled? 1 And for this 
purpose also did the Eternal Father send him into the world, in 
order that he might make known to us his love, and thus 
obtain ours in return ; and he protests that he will love us in 
the same proportion as we love Jesus Christ : For the Father 
Hiuiself loveth you, because you have loved Me." 1 Moreover, he 

1 " Ignem veni mittere in terram ; et quid volo, nisi ut accendatur ?" 
Luke, xii. 49. 

2 " Ipse enim Pater amat vos, quia vos me amastis." ^?//w,xvi.27. 

* This opuscule was written and published in 1758. (Tannoia, B. 
2, ch. 46.) 

230 Novcna to the 

gives us his graces as far as we ask for them in the name of his 
Son : If you ask the Father anything in My name, He will givt 
it you .^ And he will admit us to the eternal beatitude in so 
far only as he finds us conformable to the life of Jesus Christ: 
For whom he foreknew, He also predestinated to be made con 
formable to the image of His Son. But we shall never acquire 
this conformity, nor even ever desire it, if we are not attentive 
to meditate upon the love which Jesus Christ has borne to us. 

For this same purpose it is related in the life of the Venerable 
Sister Margaret Alacoque, a nun of the Order of the Visitation, 
that our Saviour revealed to this his servant his wish that in 
our times the devotion and feast of his Sacred Heart should be 
established and propagated in the Church, in order that de 
vout souls should by their adoration and prayer make reparation 
for the injuries his heart constantly receives from ungrateful men 
when he is exposed in the Sacrament upon the Altar. It is also 
related in the life of the same venerable sister, written by the 
learned Monseigneur Languet, Bishop of Sens, that while this 
devout ^virgin was one day praying before the Most Holy Sacra 
ment, Jesus Christ showed her his heart surrounded by thorns, 
with a cross on the top and in a throne of flames ; and then he 
said thus to her : " Behold the heart that has so much loved 
men, and has spared nothing for love of them, even to consum 
ing itself to give them pledges of its love, but which receives 
from the majority of men no other recompense but ingratitude, 
and insults towards the Sacrament of love ; and what grieves 
me most is, that these hearts are consecrated to me." And 
then he desired her to use her utmost endeavors in order that a 
particular feast should be celebrated in honor of his divine 
heart on the first Friday after the Octave of Corpus Christi. 
And this for three reasons: I. In order that the faithful should 
return thanks to him for the great gift which he has left them 
in the adorable Eucharist ; 2. In order that loving souls should 
make amends by their prayers and pious affections for the 
irreverences and insults which he has received and still receives 

1 "Si quid petieritis Patrem in nomine meo, dabit vobis." John, 
xvi. 23. 

2 " Quos przescivit et prsedestinavit conformes fieri imaginis Filii 
sui." Rom. viii. 29. 

Sacred Heart of Jesus. 231 

from sinners in this Most Holy Sacrament ; 3. In order that 
they might make up also for the honor which he does not re 
ceive in so many churches where he is so little adored and 
reverenced. And he promised that he would make the riches 
of his Sacred Heart abound towards those who should render 
him this honor, both on the day of this feast, and on every 
other day when they should visit him in the Most Holy Sacra 

This devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ is nothing 
more than an exercise of love towards this amiable Saviour. 
But as to the principal object of this devotion, the spiritual ob 
ject is the love with which the heart of Jesus Christ is inflamed 
towards men, because love is generally attributed to the heart, 
as we read in many places of Scripture : My son, give Me thy 
heart. 1 My heart and my flesh have rejoiced in the living God? 
The God of my heart, and the God that is my portion forever? 
The charity of God is poured forth in our hearts by the Holy 
Ghost who is given to us. 4 But the material or sensible object 
is the most Sacred Heart of Jesus, not taken separately by 
itself, but united to his sacred humanity, and consequently to 
the divine Person of the Word. 

This devotion in the course of a short time has been so ex 
tensively propagated, that besides having been introduced into 
many convents of holy virgins, there have been about foui 
hundred confraternities erected of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, 
established with the authority of the Prelates in France, in 
Savoy, in Flanders, in Germany, in Italy, and even in many 
heathen countries ; and these confraternities have also been 
enriched by the Holy See with many indulgences, and also with 
the faculty of erecting chapels and churches with the title of 
the Sacred Heart, as appears from the brief of Clement X. in 
the year 1674, mentioned by Father Eudes in his book (page 
468), and referred to by Father Gallifet, of the Company of 

1 " Pracbe, fili mi, cor tuum mihi." Prov. xxiii. 26. 
2 " Cor meum et caro mea exsultaverunt in Deum^vivum." Ps. 
Ixxxiii. 2- 

3 " Deus cordis mei, et pars mea, Deus, in aeternum." Ps. Ixxii. 26. 

4 "Charitas Dei diffusa est in cordibus nostris per Spiritum Sanc 
tum, qui datus est nobis." Koin. v. 5. 

232 Novena to the 

Jesus, in his work on the " Excellence of the devotion to the 
Heart of Jesus. 

And many devout persons hope that the Holy Church may 
some day grant permission for the Office, and proper Mass, in 
honor of the most Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ. We know, 
indeed, that even in the year 1726 this request was made 
through the medium of the same Father Gallifet, who was the 
postulator of it ; he explained that the Sacred Heart of Jesus 
deserved this special veneration, because it was the sensible 
origin and the seat of all the affections of the Redeemer, and 
especially that of love ; and because it was also the centre of all 
the interior sorrows which he suffered during his life. But, as far 
as my weak judgment goes, I believe that this good religious did 
not obtain his petition because he urged it upon grounds which 
were dubiously tenable. It was therefore justly objected to his 
views that it was a great question as to whether the affections 
of the soul were found in the heart or in the brain ; and even the 
most modern philosophers, with Louis Muratori in his moral 
philosophy, adopt the second opinion, viz., of the brain. And 
that therefore, as there had been no judgment pronounced con 
cerning this disputed point by the Church, which prudently 
abstains from such decisions, the request made was not to be 
granted, inasmuch as it was ground on an uncertain opinion of 
the ancients. And it was moreover said, that as this special 
motive for the veneration of the Sacred Heart had failed, it 
would not be right to grant the petition for the Office and Mass ; 
because otherwise this might be a precedent for similar requests 
in favor of the most holy side, of the tongue, the eyes, and 
other members of Jesus Christ s body. This is the substance of 
what I find recorded in the celebrated work on the canonization 
of the saints, of Benedict XIV., of blessed memory. 1 

But the hope we entertain that this concession will some day 
be granted in favor of the heart of our Lord, is not built upon 
the above-mentioned opinion of the ancients, but on the com 
mon opinion of philosophers, both ancient and modern, that 
the human heart, even though it may not be the seat of the 
affections and the principle of life, is, notwithstanding, as the 
most learned Muratori writes in the same place, " One of the 

1 Lib. 4, p. 2, c. 30, n. 17. 

Sacred Heart of Jesus. 233 

primary fountains and organs of the life of man." For the 
generality of modern physicians agree in saying that the foun 
tain and the principle of the circulation of the blood is the 
heart, to which are attached the veins and arteries ; and there 
fore there is no doubt that the other parts of the body receive 
their principle of motion from the heart. If, therefore, the 
heart is one of the " primary fountains" of human life, it can 
not be doubted that the heart has a principal share in the affec 
tions of man. And, indeed, one may observe from experience, 
that the internal affections of sorrow and love produce, a much 
greater impression on the heart than on all the other parts of the 
body. And especially with regard to love, without naming many 
other saints, it is recorded of St. Philip Neri, that in his fervors 
of love towards God, heat came forth from his heart so that it 
might be felt on his chest, and his heart palpitated so violently 
that it beat against the head of any one that approached him ; 
and by a supernatural prodigy our Lord enlarged the ribs of the 
saint round his heart, which, agitated by the ardor he felt, 
required a greater space to be able to move. St. Teresa herself 
writes in her life, 1 that God sent several times an angel to 
pierce her heart, so that she remained afterwards inflamed with 
divine love, and felt herself sensibly burning and fainting away, 
a thing to be well pondered on, as we perceive from this that 
the affections of love are in a special manner impressed by God 
in the hearts of the saints ; and the Church has not objected to 
grant to the Discalced Carmelites the proper Mass in honor of 
the wounded heart of St. Teresa. 

It may be added, that the Church has declared worthy of 
particular veneration the instruments of the Passion of Christ, 
such as the lance, the nails, and the crown of thorns, granting 
a particular Office and Mass for their special veneration, as is 
mentioned by Benedict XIV. in the work and place referred 
to, where he quotes particularly the words of Innocent VI., 
who granted the Office for the lance and the nails of our Lord, 
and these are the words: "We think it right that a special 
feast were celebrated in honor of the special instruments of his 
Passion, and particularly in those countries in which those in 
struments are said to be, and that we should encourage the 

1 Life, ch. 29. 

234 Novena to the 

faithful servants of Christ in devotion to them by concession of 
the divine Offices." 1 If, therefore, the Church has judged it 
right to venerate by a special Office the lance, the nails, the 
thorns, because they came in contact with those parts of 
Christ s body which were particularly tormented in the Passion, 
how much more have we not reason to hope that a special Office 
may be granted in honor of the most Sacred Heart of Jesus 
Christ, which had such a great share in his affections, and in 
the immense internal sorrows that he suffered in seeing the 
torments that were prepared for him, and the ingratitude which, 
after all his love for them, would be shown him by men ? This 
was the cause of the bloody sweat which our Lord afterwards 
endured in the Garden, because sucli a sweat can only be ex 
plained by a strong compression of the heart, by which the 
blood, being impeded in its course, was forced to diffuse itself 
through the exterior parts; and this compression of the Heart 
of Jesus Christ could not arrive from any other cause than from 
the internal pains of fear, of weariness, and of sorrow, accord 
ing as the Evangelists write: He began to fear, and to be heavy 
and sad. 2 

But, however this may be, let us now endeavor to satisfy the 
devotion of souls enamoured of Jesus Christ, who are desirous 
to honor him in the most Holy Sacrament, by a Novena of holy 
meditations and affections to his Sacred Heart.* 

1 " Dignum reputamus, si de ipsius passionis specialibus instru- 
mentis, et pncsertim in partibus in quibus instrumenta ipsa dicuntur 
haberi, speciale festum celebretur, nosque Christi fideles in eorum 
devotione divinis officiis specialiter foveamus." Lib. 4, p. 2, c. 30, 
n. 15. 

2 " Coepit pavere et taedere, contristari et moestus esse." Mark, 
xiv. 33 ; Malt. xxvi. 37. 

* The reader is aware that the desire of St. Alphonsus was realized 
a few years afterwards, and even during his lifetime. In 1765 the 
permission to celebrate the feast of the Sacred Heart by an Office and 
a Proper Mass on the Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi was 
granted to several churches by Clement XIII.; nearly all thedioceses 
of the Catholic world asked and successively obtained the same per 
mission; and Pope Pius IX. by a decree of August 23, 1856, in an 
swer to a request of the bishops of France, rendered this feast obliga 
tory for the universal Church. Moreover, by another decree, dated 

Sacred Heart of fesus. 235 

The Amiable Heart of Jesus. 

He who shows himself amiable in everything must 
necessarily make himself loved. Oh, if we only applied 
ourselves to discover all the good qualities by which 
Jesus Christ renders himself worthy of our love, we 
should all be under the happy necessity of loving him. 
And what heart among all hearts can be found more 
worthy of love than the Heart of Jesus ? 

A heart all pure, all holy, all full of love towards God 
and towards us; because all his desires are only for 
the divine glory and our good. This is the heart in 
which God finds all his delight. Every perfection, every 
virtue reign in this heart; a most ardent love for God, 
his Father, united to the greatest humility and respect 
that can possibly exist; a sovereign confusion for our 
sins, which he has taken upon himself, united to the ex 
treme confidence of a most affectionate Son; a sovereign 
abhorrence of our sins, united to a lively compassion for 
our miseries; an extreme sorrow, united to a perfect 
conformity to the will of God. 

In Jesus is found everything that there can be most 
amiable. Some are attracted to love others by their 
beauty, others by their innocence, others by living with 
them, others by devotion. But if there were a person 
in whom all these and other virtues were united, who 

May 8, 1873, His Holiness vouchsafed to grant to persons who every 
day during the month of June offer special prayers and perform some 
pious acts in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, either in public or 
in private, an indulgence of seven years for each of those days, and 
besides, a plenary indulgence on any day of the month, provided that, 
being truly penitent, after confession and Communion, they shall 
visit some church or public oratory and pray there devoutly, for 
some time, for the intention of His Holiness. These indulgences are 
applicable to the souls in purgatory. ED. 

236 Novcna to the 

could help loving him ? If we heard that there was in 
a distant country a foreign prince who was handsome, 
humble, courteous, devout, full of charity, affable to all, 
who rendered good to those who did him evil; then, 
although we knew not who he was, and though he knew 
not us, and though we were not acquainted with him, 
nor was there any possibility of our ever being so, yet 
we should be enamoured of him, and should be con 
strained to love him. How is it, then, possible that 
Jesus Christ, who possesses in himself all these virtues, 
and in the most perfect degree, and who loves us so 
tenderly, how is it possible that he should be so little 
loved by men, and should not be the only object of our 
love ? 

O my God, how is it that Jesus, who alone is worthy 
of love, and who has given us so many proofs of the love 
that he bears us, should be alone, as it were, the un 
lucky one with us, who cannot arrive at making us love 
him; as if he were not sufficiently worthy of our love! 
This is what caused floods of tears to St. Rose of 
Lima, St. Catharine of Genoa, St. Teresa, St. Mary 
Magdalen of Pazzi, who, on considering the ingratitude 
of men, exclaimed, weeping, " Love is not loved, Love is 
not loved." 

Affections and Prayers. 

O my amiable Redeemer, what object more worthy of love 
could Thy Eternal Father command me to love than Thee? 
Thou art the beauty of paradise, Thou art the love of Thy 
Father, Thy heart is the throne of all virtues. O amiable heart 
of my Jesus, Thou dost well deserve the love of all hearts ; poor 
and wretched is that heart which loves Thee not ! Thus miser 
able, O my God, has my heart been during all the time in which 
it hath not loved Thee. But 1 will not continue to be thus 
wretched ; I love Thee, I will always continue to love Thee, O my 
Jesus. O my Lord, I have hitherto forgotten Thee, and now what 
can I expect ? That my ingratitude will oblige Thee to forget me 
entirely, and forsake me forever? No, my Saviour, do not per- 

Sacred Heart of Jesus. 237 

mit this. Thou art the object of the love of God ; and shalt Thou 
not, then, be loved by a miserable sinner, such as I am, who 
have been so favored and loved by Thee ? O lovely flames that 
burnt in the loving heart of my Jesus, enkindle in my poor heart 
that holy fire which Jesus came down from heaven to kindle on 
earth. Consume and destroy all the impure affections that 
dwell in my heart, and prevent it from being entirely his. O 
my God, grant that it may only exist to love Thee, and Thee 
alone, my dearest Saviour. If at one time I despised Thee, Thou 
art now the only object of my love. I love Thee, I love Thee, 
I love Thee, and I will never love any one else but Thee. My 
beloved Lord, do not disdain to accept the love of a heart which 
has once afflicted Thee by my sins. Let it be Thy glory to ex 
hibit to the angels a heart now burning with the love of Thee, 
which hitherto shunned and despised Thee. 

Most holy Virgin Mary, my hope, do thou assist me, and 
beseech Jesus to make me, by his grace, all that he wishes me 
to be. 

The Loving Heart of Jesus. 

Oh, if we could but understand the love that burns in 
the heart of Jesus for us ! He has loved us so much, 
that if all men, all the angels, and all the saints were to 
unite, with all their energies, they could not arrive at 
the thousandth part of the love that Jesus bears to us. 
He loves us infinitely more than we love ourselves. 

He has loved us even to excess: They spoke of His de 
cease (excess) which He was to accompli sJi in Jerusalem. 1 And 
what greater excess of love could there be than for God 
to die for his creatures? He has loved us to the great 
est degree: Having loved His own . . . He loved them unto 
the end; since, after having loved us from eternity, for 
there never was a moment from eternity when God did 
not think of us and did not love each one of us: I have 

" Dicebant cxcessum ejus, quern completurus erat in Jerusalem." 
Luke, ix. 31. 

"Cum dilexisset suos, ... in finem dilexit eos." John, xiii. i. 

238 Novcna to the 

loved thce with an everlasting love? for the love of us he 
made himself man, and chose a life of sufferings and the 
death of the cross for our sake. Therefore he has loved us 
more than his honor, more than his repose, and more 
than his life; for he sacrificed everything to show us the 
love that he bears us. And is not this an excess of love 
sufficient to stupefy with astonishment the angels of 
paradise for all eternity ? 

This love has induced him also to remain with us in 
the Holy Sacrament as on a throne of love; for he re 
mains there under the appearance of a small piece of 
bread, shut up in aciborium, where he seems to remain 
in a perfect annihilation of his majesty, without move 
ment, and without the use of his senses; so that it seems 
that he performs no other office there than that of loving 
men. Love makes us desire the constant presence of 
the object of our love. It is this love and this desire 
that makes Jesus Christ reside w r ith us in the Most Holy 
Sacrament. It seemed too short a time to this loving 
Saviour to have been only thirty-three years with men 
on earth; therefore, in order to show his desire of being 
constantly with us, he thought right to perform the great 
est of all miracles, in the institution of the Holy Euchar 
ist. But the work of redemption was already com 
pleted, men had already become reconciled to God; for 
what purpose, then, did Jesus remain on earth in this 
Sacrament? Ah, he remains there because he cannot 
bear to separate himself from us, as he has said that he 
takes a delight in us. 

Again, this love has induced him even to become the 
food of our souls, so as to unite himself to us, and to 
make his heart and ours as one: He that catcth My Flesh 
and drinketh My Blood, abidcth in Me and I in him? O 

1 " In charitate perpetua dilexi te." Jer. xxxi. 3. 

2 " Qui manducat meam carnem et bibit meum sanguinem in me 
manet, et ego in illo." John, vi. 57. 

Sa cred Hca rt of Jcs us. 239 

wonder! O excess of divine love ! It was said by a ser 
vant of God, If anything could shake my faith in the 
Eucharist, it would not be the doubt as to how the bread 
could become flesh, or how Jesus could be in several 
places and confined into so small a space, because I 
should answer that God can do everything ; but if I 
were asked how he could love men so much as to make 
himself their food, I have nothing else to answer but that 
this is a mystery of faith above my comprehension, and 
that the love of Jesus cannot be understood. O love of 
Jesus, do Thou make Thyself known to men and do 
Thou make Thyself loved ! 

Affections and Prayers. 

adorable heart of my Jesus, heart inflamed with the love 
of men, heart created on purpose to love them, how is it possi 
ble that Thou canst be despised, and Thy love so ill corre 
sponded to by men ? Oh, miserable that I am, I also have been 
one of those ungrateful ones that have not loved Thee. For 
give me, my Jesus, this great sin of not having loved Thee, 
who art so amiable, and who hast loved me so much that Thou 
canst do nothing more to oblige me to love Thee. I feel that I 
deserve to be condemned not to be able to love Thee, for hav 
ing renounced Thy love, as I have hitherto done. But no, my 
dearest Saviour, give me any chastisement, but do not inflict 
this one upon me. Grant me the grace to love Thee, and then 
give me any affliction Thou pleasest. But how can I fear such 
a chastisement, whilst I feel that Thou continuest to give me 
the sweet, the pleasing precept of loving Thee, my* Lord and my 
God ? Love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart. 1 Yes, O 
my God, Thou wouldst be loved by me, and I will love Thee ; 
indeed I will love none but Thee, who hast loved me so much. 
O Love of my Jesus.Thou art my Love. O burning heart of my 
Jesus, do thou inflame my heart also. Do not permit me in 
future, even for a single moment, to live without Thy love; 
rather kill me, destroy me ; do not let the world behold the 

1 " Diligcs Dominum Deum tuum ex toto corde tuo." Mali. xxii. 

240 Novcna to the 

spectacle of such horrid ingratitude as that I, who have been so 
beloved by Thee, and received so many favors and lights from 
Thee, should begin again to despise Thy love. No, my Jesus, 
do not permit this. I trust in the blood that Thou hast shed 
for me, that I shall always love Thee, and that Thou wilt always 
love me, and that this love between Thee and me will not be 
broken off for eternity. 

Mary, Mother of fair love, thou who desirest so much to see 
Jesus loved, bind me, unite me to thy Son ; but bind me to him, 
so that we may never again be separated. 

The Heart of Jesus Christ Panting to be Loved. 

Jesus has no need of us; he is equally happy, equally 
rich, equally powerful with or without our love; and yet, 
as St. Thomas says, 1 he loves us so, that he desires our 
love as much as if man was his God, and his felicity de 
pended on that of man. This filled holy Job with astonish 
ment: What is man that Thou shoitldst magnify him ? or why 
dost Thou set Thy heart upon him ? 2 

What ! can God desire or ask with such eagerness for 
the love of a worm ? It would have been a great favor 
if God had only permitted us to love him. If a vassal 
were to say to his king, " Sire, I love you," he would be 
considered impertinent. But what would one say if the 
king were to tell his vassal, " I desire you to love me"? 
The princes of the earth do not humble themselves to this; 
but Jesus, who is the King of Heaven, is he who with so 
much earnestness demands our love: Love the Lord thy 
God with thy whole heart* So pressingly does he ask for 
our heart: My son, give Me thy heart? And if he is driven 

1 Opusc. 63, c. 7. 

IJ "Quid est homo, quia magnificas eum ? aut quid apponis erga 
eum cor tuum ?" Job. vii. 17. 

3 " Diliges Dominum Deum tuum ex toto corde tuo." Matt, xxii. 


4 " Praebe, fili mi, cor tuum mihi." Prov. xxiii. 26. 

Sacred Heart of Jesus, 241 

from a soul, he does not depart, but he stands outside of 
the door of the heart, and he calls and knocks to be let in: 
I stand at the gate arid knock. 1 And lie beseeches her to 
open to him, calling her sister and spouse: Open to Me, 
My sister, My love.* In short, he takes a delight in 
being loved by us, and is quite consoled when a soul 
says to him, and repeats often, " My God, my God, I 
love Thee." 

All this is the effect of the great love he bears us. He 
who loves necessarily desires to be loved. The heart re 
quires the heart; love seeks love: " Why does God love, 
but that he might be loved himself," 3 said St. Bernard; 
and God himself first said, What doth the Lord thy God re 
quire of thee, but that thou fear the Lord thy God, . . . and 
love Him? 4 Therefore he tells us that he is that Shepherd 
who, having found the lost sheep, calls all the others to 
rejoice with him : Rejoice with Me, because I have found My 
sheep that was lost. He tells us that he is that Father 
who, when his lost son returns and throws himself at his 
feet, not only forgives him, but embraces him tenderly. 
He tells us that he that loves him not is condemned to 
death: He that loveth not abideth in death? And, on the 
contrary, that he takes him that loves him and keeps 
possession of him: He that abideth in charity, abideth in God, 
and God in him? Oh, will not such invitations, such en 
treaties, such threats, and such promises move us to love 
God, who so much desires to be loved by us ? 

1 " Sto ad ostium et pulso." Apoc. iii. 20. 

2 " Aperi mihi, soror mea." Cant. v. 2. 

3 " Non ad aliud amat Deus, nisi ut ametur." In Cant. s. 83. 

4 "Quid Dominus Deus petit a te, nisi ut timeas . . . et diligas 
eum ?" Deut. x. 12. 

" Congratulamini mihi, quia inveni ovem meam quae perierat." 
Luke, xv. 6. 

" Qui non diligit, manet in morte." I John, iii. 14. 
1 " Qui manet in charitate, in Deo manet, et Deus in eo." \ John, 
iv. 16. 


242 Novena to the 

Affections and Prayers. 

My dearest Redeemer, I will say to Thee, with St. Augustine, 
Thou dost command me to love Thee, and dost threaten me 
with hell if I do not love Thee ; but what more dreadful hell, 
what greater misfortune, can happen to me than to be deprived 
of Thy love ! If, therefore, Thou desirest to frighten me, Thou 
shouldst threaten me only that I should live without loving 
Thee ; for this threat alone will frighten me more than a thou 
sand hells. If, in the midst of the flames of hell, the damned 
could burn with Thy love, O my God, hell itself would become a 
paradise ; and if, on the contrary, the blessed in heaven could 
not love Thee, paradise would become hell. Thus St. Augus 
tine expresses himself. 

I see, indeed, my dearest Lord, that I, on account of my sins, 
did deserve to be forsaken by Thy grace, and at the same time 
condemned to be incapable of loving Thee ; but still I under 
stand that Thou dost continue to command me to love Thee, 
and I also feel within me a great desire to love Thee. This my 
desire is a gift of Thy grace, and it comes from Thee. Oh, give 
me also the strength necessary to put it in execution, and make 
me, from this day forth, say to Thee earnestly, and from the 
bottom of my heart, and to repeat to Thee always, My God, I 
love Thee, I love Thee, I love Thee. Thou desirest my love ; I 
also desire Thine. Blot out, therefore, from thy remembrance, 
O my Jesus, the offences that in past times I have committed 
against Thee ; let us love each other henceforth forever. I 
will not leave Thee, and Thou wilt not leave me. Thou wilt 
always love me, and I will always love Thee. My dearest 
Saviour, in Thy merits do I place my hope ; oh, do Thou make 
Thyself to be loved forever, and loved greatly, by a sinner who 
has offended Thee greatly. 

O Mary, Immaculate Virgin, do thou help me, do thou beseech 
Jesus for me. 

The Sorrowful Heart of Jesus. 

It is impossible to consider how afflicted the heart of 
Jesus was for love of us and not to pity him. He him 
self tells us that his heart was overwhelmed with such 

Sacred Heart of Jesus. 243 

sorrow, that this alone would have sufficed to take his 
life away, and to make him die of pure grief, if the virtue 
of his divinity had not, by a miracle, prevented his death: 
My soul is sorrowful even unto death. 1 

The principal sorrow which afflicted the heart of Jesus 
so much was not the sight of the torments and infamy 
which men were preparing for him, but the sight of their 
ingratitude towards his immense love. He distinctly 
foresaw all the sins which we should commit after all his 
sufferings and such a bitter and ignominious death. He 
foresaw, especially, the horrible insults which men 
would offer to his adorable heart, which he has left us 
in the Most Holy Sacrament as a proof of his affection. 
O my God, what affronts has not Jesus Christ received 
from men in this Sacrament of love ? One has trampled 
him under foot, another lias thrown him into the gutters, 
others have availed themselves of him to pay homage to 
the devil ! 

And yet the sight of all these insults did not prevent 
him from leaving us this great pledge of his love. He 
has a sovereign hatred of sin; but still it seems as if his 
love towards us had overcome the hatred he bore to sin, 
since he was content to permit these sacrileges, rather 
than to deprive the souls that love him of this divine 
food. Shall not all this suffice to make us love a heart 
that has loved us so much? 

Has not Jesus Christ done enough to deserve our love ? 
Ungrateful that we are, shall we still leave Jesus for 
saken on the altar, as the majority of men do? And 
shall we not unite ourselves to those few souls who 
acknowledge him, and melt with love more even than the 
torches melt away which burn round the ciborium ? The 
heart of Jesus remains there, burning with love for us; 
and shall we not, in his presence, burn with love for 
Jesus ? 

; " Tristis est anima raea usque ad mortem." Mark, xiv. 34. 

244 Novcna to the 

Affections and Prayers. 

My adorable and dearest Jesus, behold at Thy feet one who 
has caused so much sorrow to Thy amiable heart. O my God, 
how could I grieve this heart, which has loved me so much, 
and has spared nothing to make itself loved by me ? But con 
sole Thyself, I will say, O my Saviour, for my heart having been 
wounded, through Thy grace, with Thy most holy love, feels 
now so much regret for the offences I have committed against 
Thee, that it would fain die of sorrow. Oh, who will give me, 
my Jesus, that sorrow for my sins which Thou didst feel for 
them in Thy life! Eternal Father, I offer Thee the sorrow and 
abhorrence Thy Son felt for my sins ; and, for his sake, I be 
seech Thee to give me so great a sorrow for the offences I have 
committed against Thee, that I may lead an afflicted and sor 
rowful life at the thought of having once despised Thy friend 
ship. And Thou, O my Jesus, do Thou give me, from this day 
forth, such a horror of sin, that I may abhor even the lightest 
faults, considering that they displease Thee, who dost not de 
serve to be offended much or little, but dost deserve an infinite 
love. My beloved Lord, I now detest everything that displeases 
Thee, and in future I will love only Thee, and that which Thou 
lovest. Oh, help me, give me the strength, give me the grace 
to invoke Thee constantly, O my Jesus, and always to repeat to 
Thee this petition : My Jesus, give me Thy love, give me Thy 
love, give me Thy love. 

And thou, most holy Mary, obtain for me the grace to pray 
to thee continually, and to say to thee, O my Mother, make 
me love Jesus Christ. 

The Compassionate Heart of Jesus. 

Where shall we ever find a heart more compassionate 
or tender than the heart of Jesus, or one that had a 
greater feeling for our miseries ? 

This pity induced him to descend from heaven to this 
earth; it made him say that he was that good shepherd 
who came to give his life to save his sheep. In order to 
obtain the pardon of our sins, he would not spare him 
self, but would sacrifice himself on the Cross, that by his 

Sacred Heart of Jesus. 245 

sufferings he might satisfy for the chastisement that we 
have deserved. This pity and compassion makes him 
say even now: Why will ye die, O house of Israel? return 
ye, and live. 1 O men, he says, my poor children, why 
will you damn yourselves by flying from me? Do you 
not see that by separating yourselves from me you are 
hastening to eternal death ? I desire not to see you lost; 
do not despair; as often as you wish to return, return, 
and you shall recover your life: Return, and live. 

This compassion even makes him say that he is that 
loving Father who, though he sees himself despised by 
his son, yet, if that son returns a penitent, he cannot re 
ject him, but embraces him tenderly and forgets all the 
injuries He has received: I will not remember all his iniqui 
ties? It is not thus that men behave; for though they 
may forgive, yet they nevertheless retain the remem 
brance of the offence received, and feel inclined to re 
venge themselves; and even if they do not revenge them 
selves, because they fear God, at least they always feel a 
great repugnance against conversing and entertaining 
themselves with those persons who have vilified them. 

O my Jesus, Thou dost pardon the penitent sinners, 
and dost not refuse in this world to give them every 
thing in Holy Communion during their life, and every 
thing in the other world, even in heaven, with eternal 
glory, without retaining the slightest repugnance to 
wards being united to the soul that has offended Thee, 
for all eternity. Where, then, is there to be found a 
heart so amiable and compassionate as Thine, O my 
dearest Saviour? 

Affections and Prayers. 

O compassionate heart of my Jesus, have pity on me : " Most 
sweet Jesus, have mercy on me." I say so now, and beseech 

" Quare moriemini, domus Israel ?. . . Revertimini, et vivite." 
Ezek. xviii. 31. 

2 "Omnium iniquitatum ejus . . . non recordabor." Ibid. 22. 

246 Novena to the 

Thee to give me the grace always to say to Thee, " Most sweet 
Jesus, have mercy on me." Even before I offended Thee, O 
my Redeemer, I certainly did not deserve any of the favors 
Thou hast bestowed upon me. Thou hast created me, Thou 
hast given me so much light and knowledge ; and all without 
any merit of mine. But after I had offended Thee, I not only 
did not deserve Thy favor, but I deserved to be forsaken by Thee 
and cast into hell. Thy compassion has made Thee wait for me 
and preserve my life even when I had offended Thee. Thy com 
passion has enlightened me, and offered me pardon ; it has given 
me sorrow for my sins, and the desire of loving Thee ; and now I 
hope from Thy mercy to remain always in Thy grace. O my 
Jesus, cease not to show Thy compassion towards me. The 
mercy which I implore of Thee is that Thou wouldst grant me 
light and strength to be no longer ungrateful towards Thee. 
No, O my love, I do not expect that Thou shouldst again forgive 
me, if I again turn my back towards Thee ; this would be pre 
sumption, and would prevent Thee from showing mercy to me 
any more. For what pity could I expect any more from Thee if 
I were so ungrateful as to despise Thy friendship again, and to 
separate myself from Thee. No, my Jesus, I love Thee, and I 
will always love Thee; and this is the mercy which I hope for 
and seek from Thee : " Permit me not to be separated from 
Thee, permit me not to be separated from Thee." 

And I beseech thee also, O Mary my Mother, permit me not 
to be ever again separated from my God. 

The Generous Heart of Jesus. 

It is the characteristic of good-hearted people to desire 
to make everybody happy, and especially those most 
distressed and afflicted. But who can ever find one who 
has a better heart than Jesus Christ? He is infinite 
goodness, and has therefore a sovereign desire to com 
municate to us his riches: With Me are riches, .... 
that I may enrich them that love Me. 1 

1 " Ne permittas me separari a te." 

2 " Mecum sunt divitiae, . . . ut ditem diligentes me." Prov. viii. 
18, 21. 

Sacred Heart of Jesus. 247 

He for this purpose made himself poor, as the Apostle 
says, that he might make us rich: He became poor for 
your sakes, that through His poverty you might be rich. 1 For 
this purpose also he chose to remain with us in the most 
Holy Sacrament, where he remains constantly with his 
hands full of graces, as was seen by Father Balthazar 
Alvarez, to dispense them to those who come to visit 
him. For this reason also he gives himself wholly to us 
in Holy Communion, giving us to understand from this 
that he cannot refuse us any good gifts, since he even 
gives himself entirely to us: How hath He not also, with 
Him, given us all things ? * 

For in the heart of Jesus we receive every good, every 
grace that we desire: In all things you are made rich in 
Christ, . . . so that nothing is wanting to you in any grace? 
And we must understand that we are debtors to the heart 
of Jesus for all the graces we have received graces of 
redemption, of vocation, of light, of pardon, the grace to 
resist temptations, and to bear patiently with contradic 
tions; for without his assistance we could not do any 
thing good: Without me you can do nothing? 

And if hitherto, says our Saviour, you have not re 
ceived more graces, do not complain of me, but blame 
yourself, who have neglected to seek them of me : 
Hitherto you have not asked anything; . . . ask, and you shall 
receive? Oh, how rich and liberal is the heart of Jesus 
towards every one that has recourse to him! Rich unto 

1 " Propter vos egenus factus est, cum esset dives, tit illius inopia 
vos divites essetis." 2 Cor. viii. 9 

2 " Quomodo non etiam cum illo omnia nobis donavit ?" Rom. 
viii. 32. 

3 " In omnibus divites facti estis in illo, . . . ita ut nihil vobis de- 
sit in ulla gratia." I Cor. i. 5, 7. 

4 "Sine me nihil potestis facere." John, xv. 5. 

5 "Usque modo non petistis quidquam, . . . petite, et accipietis." 
John, xvi. 24. 

248 Novena to the 

all that call upon Him. 1 Oh, what great mercies do those 
souls receive who are earnest in asking help of Jesus 
Christ. David said, For Thou, O Lord, art sweet and mild, 
and plenteous to all who call ttpon Thee* Let us therefore 
always go to this heart, and ask with confidence, and we 
shall obtain all we want. 

Affections and Prayers. 

Ah, my Jesus, Thou hast not refused to give me Thy blood 
and Thy life, and shall I refuse to give Thee my miserable 
heart ? No, my dearest Redeemer, I offer it entirely to Thee. 
I give Thee all my will ; do Thou accept it, and dispose of it at 
Thy pleasure. I can do nothing, and have nothing; but I have 
this heart which Thou hast given me, and of which no one can 
deprive me. I may be deprived of my goods, my blood, my 
life, but not of my heart. With this heart I can love Thee ; 
with this heart I will love Thee. I beseech Thee, O my God, 
teach me a perfect forgetfulness of myself ; teach me what I 
must do to arrive at Thy pure love, of which Thou in Thy 
goodness hast inspired me with the desire. I feel in myself a 
determination to please Thee ; but in order to put my resolve 
into execution, I expect and implore help from Thee. It de 
pends on Thee, O loving heart of Jesus, to make entirely Thine 
my poor heart, which hitherto has been so ungrateful, and 
through my own fault deprived of Thy love. Oh, grant that my 
heart may be all on fire with the love of Thee, even as Thine is 
on fire with the love of me. Grant that my will may be entirely 
united to Thine, so that I may will nothing but what Thou 
wiliest, and that from this day forth Thy holy will may be the 
rule of all my actions, of all my thoughts, and of all my desires. 
I trust, O my Saviour, that Thou wilt not refuse me Thy grace 
to fulfil this resolution which I now make prostrate at Thy feet, 
to receive with submission whatever Thou mayest ordain for 
me and my affairs, as well in life as in death. Blessed art thou, 
O Immaculate Mary, who hadst thy heart always and entirely 

1 " Dives in omnes qui invocant ilium." Rom. x. 12. 

2 " Quoniam tu, Domine, suavis et mitis, et multae misericord iae 
omnibus invocantibus te."/ J j. Ixxxv. 5. 

Sacred Heart of Jesus. 249 

united to the heart of Jesus ; obtain for me, O my Mother, that 
in future I may wish and desire that which Jesus wills and thou 

The Grateful Heart of Jesus. 

The heart of Jesus is so grateful, that it cannot behold, 
the most trifling works done for the love of him our 
smallest word spoken for his glory, a single good 
thought directed towards pleasing him without giving 
to each its own reward. He is besides so grateful, that 
he always returns a hundredfold for one: You shall re 
ceive a hundredfold. 

Men, when they are grateful, and recompense any 
benefit done to them, recompense it only once; they, as 
it were, divest themselves of all the obligation, and then 
they think no more of it. Jesus Christ does not do thus 
with us; he not only recompenses a hundredfold in this 
life every good action that we perform to please him, 
but in the next life he recompenses it an infinite number 
of times throughout eternity. And who will be so neg 
ligent as not to do as much as he can to please this most 
grateful heart ? 

But, O my God, how do men try to please Jesus 
Christ? Or rather, I will say, how can we be so un 
grateful towards this our Saviour? If he had only shed 
a single drop of blood, or one tear alone for our salva 
tion, yet we should be under infinite obligation to him; 
because this drop and this tear would have been of in 
finite value in the sight of God towards obtaining for us 
every grace. But Jesus would employ for us every 
moment of his life. He has given us all his merits, all 
his sufferings, all his ignominies, all his blood, and his 
life; so that we are under, not one, but infinite, obliga 
tions to love him. 

1 " Centuplum accipiet." Malt. xix. 29. 

250 Novena to the 

But alas! we are grateful even towards animals: if a 
little dog shows us any sign of affection, it seems to con 
strain us to love it. How, then, can we be so ungrateful 
towards God? It seems as if the benefits of God to 
wards men change their nature, and become ill-usage; 
for, instead of gratitude and love, they obtain nothing 
but offences and injuries. Do Thou, O Lord, enlighten 
these ungrateful ones, to know the love that Thou bear- 
est them. 

Affections and Prayers. 

O my beloved Jesus, behold at Thy feet an ungrateful sinner. 
I have been grateful indeed towards creatures ; but to Thee 
alone I have been ungrateful to Thee, who hast died for me, 
and hast done the utmost that Thou couldst do to oblige me to 
love Thee. But the thought that I have to do with a heart full 
of goodness and infinite in mercy, of one who proclaims that he 
forgives all the offences of the sinner who repents and loves 
him, consoles me and gives me courage. My dearest Jesus, I 
have in times past offended Thee and despised Thee; but now 
I love Thee more than everything more than myself. Tell me 
what Thou wouldst have me to do ; for I am ready to do every 
thing with Thy help. I believe that Thou hast created me. 
Thou hast given Thy blood and Thy life for the love of me. I 
believe also that for my sake Thou dost remain in the Blessed 
Sacrament ; I thank Thee for it, O my love. Oh, permit me 
not to be ungrateful in future for so many benefits and proofs 
of Thy love. Oh, bind me, unite me to Thy heart; and permit 
me not, during the years that remain to me, to offend Thee or 
grieve Thee any more. I have displeased Thee sufficiently. O 
my Jesus, it is time that I should love Thee now. Oh, that 
those years that I have lost would return ! But they will return 
no more, and the life that remains for me may be short ; but 
whether it be short or long, my God, I desire to spend it all in 
loving Thee, my sovereign good, who dost deserve an eternal 
and infinite love. 

O Mary, my Mother, let me never again be ungrateful to thy 
Son. Pray to Jesus for me. 

Sacred Heart of Jesus. 251 

The Despised Heart of Jesus. 

There is not a greater sorrow for a heart that loves, 
than to see its love despised; and so much the more 
when the proofs given of this love have been great, and, 
on the other hand, the ingratitude great. 

If every human being were to renounce all his goods, 
and to go and live in the desert, to feed on herbs, to 
sleep on the bare earth, to macerate himself with pen 
ances, and at last give himself up to be murdered for 
Christ s sake, what recompense could he render for the 
sufferings, the blood, the life that this great Son of God 
has given for his sake ? If we were to sacrifice ourselves 
every moment unto death, we should certainly not re 
compense in the smallest degree the love that Jesus 
Christ has shown us, by giving himself to us in the most 
Holy Sacrament. Only conceive that God should con 
ceal himself under the species of bread to become the 
food of one of his creatures! 

But, O my God, what recompense and gratitude do 
men render to Jesus Christ? What but ill-treatment, 
contempt of his laws and his maxims, injuries such as 
they would not commit towards their enemy, or their 
slave, or the greatest villain upon earth. And can we 
think of all these injuries which Jesus Christ has re 
ceived, and still receives every day, and not feel sorrow 
for them ? and not endeavor, by our love, to recompense 
the infinite love of his divine heart, which remains in the 
most Holy Sacrament, inflamed with the same love to 
wards us, and anxious to communicate every good gift 
to us, and to give himself entirely to us, ever ready to 
receive us into his heart whenever we go to him ? Him 
that comcth to Me, I will not cast out. 1 

" Eum qui venit ad me non ejiciam foras." John, vi. 37. 

252 Novena to the 

We have been accustomed to hear of the Creation, 
Incarnation, Redemption, of Jesus born in a stable, of 
Jesus dead on the Cross. O my God, if we knew that 
another man had conferred on us any of these benefits, 
we could not help loving him. It seems that God alone 
has, so to say, this bad luck with men, that, though he 
has done his utmost to make them love him, yet he can 
not attain this end, and, instead of being loved, he sees 
himself despised and neglected. All this arises from the 
forgetfulness of men of the love of God. 

Affections antf Prayers. 

O Heart of Jesus, abyss of mercy and love, how is it that, at 
the sight of the goodness Thou hast shown me, and of my in 
gratitude, I do not die of sorrow ? Thou, O my Saviour, after 
having given me my being, hast given me all Thy blood and 
Thy life, giving Thyself up, for my sake, to ignominy and death ; 
and, not content with this, Thou hast invented the mode of 
sacrificing Thyself every day for me in the Holy Eucharist, not 
refusing to expose Thyself to the injuries which Thou shouldst 
receive, and which Thou didst foresee, in this Sacrament of 
love. O my God, how can I see myself so ungrateful to Thee 
without dying with confusion! O Lord, put an end, I pray 
Thee, to my ingratitude, by wounding my heart with Thy love, 
and making me entirely Thine. Remember the blood and the 
tears that Thou hast shed for me, and forgive me. Oh, let not 
all Thy sufferings be lost upon me. But though Thou hast seen 
how ungrateful and unworthy of Thy love I have been, yet Thou 
didst not cease to love me even when I did not love Thee, nor 
even desire that Thou shouldst love me ; how much rather, 
then, may I not hope for Thy love, now that I desire and sigh 
after nothing but to love Thee, and to be loved by Thee. Oh, 
do Thou fully satisfy this my desire ; or rather this Thy desire, 
for it is Thou that hast given it to me. Grant that this day 
may be the day of my thorough conversion ; so that I may begin 
to love Thee, and may never cease to love Thee, my sovereign 
good. Make me die in everything to myself, in order that I may 
live only to Thee, and that I may always burn with Thy love. 

Sacred PI cart of Jesus. 253 

Mary, thy heart was the blessed altar that was always on 
fire with divine love : my dearest Mother, make me like to thee ; 
obtain this from thy Son, who delights in honoring thee, by 
denying thee nothing that thou askest of him. 

The Faithful Heart of Jesus. 

Oh, how faithful is the beautiful heart of Jesus towards 
those whom he calls to his love: He is faithful who hath 
called you, who also will perform? 

The faithfulness of God gives us confidence to hope all 
things, although we deserve nothing. If we have driven 
God from our heart, let us open the door to him, and he 
will immediately enter, according to the promise he has 
made: If any one open to me the door, I will come in to him, 
and will sup with him? If we wish for graces, let us ask 
for them of God, in the name of Jesus Christ, and he has 
promised us that we shall obtain them: If you shall ask 
the Father anything in My name, He will give it you? If we 
are tempted, let us trust in his merits, and he will not 
permit our enemies to strive with us beyond our strength: 
God is faitfiful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that 
which you are able? 

Oh, how much better it is to have to do with God than 
with men! How often do men promise and then fail, 
either because they tell lies in making their promises, or 
because, after having made the promise, they change 
their minds: God is not as man, says the Holy Spirit, 
that He should lie ; or as the son of man, that He should be 

1 " Fidelis est, qui vocavit vos, qui etiam faciet." I Thess. v. 24. 

2 " Si quis . . . aperuerit mihi januam, intraboad ilium, et coenabo 
cum illo." Apoc. iii. 20. 

3 " Si quid petieritis Patrem in nomine meo, dabit vobis." John, 
xvi. 23. 

4 " Fidelis autem Deus est, qui non patietur vos tentari supra quod 
potestis." i Cor. x. 13. 

254 Novena to the 

changed? God cannot be unfaithful to his promises, be 
cause, being truth itself, he cannot lie ; nor can he 
change his mind, because all that he wills is just and 
right. He has promised to receive all that come to him, 
to give help to him that asks it, to love him that loves 
him; and shall he then not do it? Hath He said, then, 
and will He not do it ? * 

Oh, that we were as faithful with God as he is with 
us! Oh, how often have we, in times past, promised him 
to be his, to serve him and love him; and then have be 
trayed him, and, renouncing his service, have sold our 
selves as slaves to the devil ! Oh, let us beseech him to 
give us strength to be faithful to him for the future ! 
Oh, how blessed shall we be if we are faithful to Jesus 
Christ in the few tilings that he commands us to do; he 
will, indeed, be faithful in remunerating us with in 
finitely great rewards; and he will declare to us what. he 
has promised to his faithful servants: Well done, good 
and faithful servant ; because thou hast been faithful over a 
few things, I will place thee over many things ; enter thou into 
the joy of thy Lord? 

Affections and Prayers. 

Oh, that I had been as faithful towards Thee, my dearest Re 
deemer, as Thou hast been faithful to me. Whenever I have 
opened my heart to Thee, Thou hast entered in, to forgive me 
and to receive me into Thy favor; whenever I have called Thee, 
Thou hast hastened to my assistance. Thou hast been faithful 
with me, but I have been exceedingly unfaithful towards Thee. 
I have promised Thee my love, and then have many times re 
fused it to Thee; as if Thou, my God, who hast created and 
redeemed me, wert less worthy of being loved than Thy crea- 

1 " Non est Deus quasi homo, ut mentiatur, nee ut filius hominis, 
ut mutetur." Num. xxiii. 19. 

2 " Dixit ergo, et non faciet?" Ibid. 

3 " Euge, serve bone et fidelis; quia super pauca fuisti fidelis, super 
multa te constituam; intra in gaudium Domini tui." Matt. xxv. 21. 

Sacred Heart of Jesus. 255 

tures and those miserable pleasures for which I have forsaken 
Thee. Forgive me, O my Jesus. I know my ingratitude, and 
abhor it. I know that Thou art infinite goodness, who deserv- 
est an infinite love, especially from me, whom Thou hast so 
much loved, even after all the offences I have committed against 
Thee. Unhappy me if I should damn myself ; the graces Thou 
hast vouchsafed to me, and the proofs of the singular affection 
which Thou hast shown me, would be, O God, the hell of hells 
to me. Ah, no, my love, have pity on me ; suffer me not to for 
sake Thee again, and then by damning myself, as I should 
deserve, continue to repay in hell with injuries and hatred the 
love that Thou hast borne me. O loving and faithful heart of 
Jesus, inflame, I beseech Thee, my miserable heart, so that it 
may burn with love for Thee, as Thine dost for me. My Jesus, 
it seems to me that now I love Thee ; but I love Thee but little. 
Make me love Thee exceedingly, and remain faithful to Thee 
until death. I ask of Thee this grace, together with that of 
always praying to Thee for it. Grant that I may die rather than 
ever betray Thee again. 

O Mary, my Mother, help me to be faithful to thy Son. 

Affections of ouc toumros tl)c 4J)enrt of Scsus.* 

O AMIABLE Heart of my Saviour! thou art the seat of 
all virtues, the source of all graces, the burning furnace 
in which are inflamed all holy souls. Thou art the ob 
ject of all God s love; thou art the refuge of the afflicted, 
and the abode of the souls that love thee. O heart 
worthy of reigning over all hearts, and of possessing the 
affection of all hearts ! O heart that was wounded for 
me on the Cross by the lance of my sins, and that re 
mained afterwards continually wounded for me on the 
altar in the Blessed Sacrament, but not by any other 
lance than that of the love that thou entertainest for me! 
O loving heart, that loves men with so much tenderness, 
and that is so little loved by men! do thou apply a rem 
edy to so great an ingratitude, inflame thou our hearts 
with a true love for thee. Ah ! why can I not go all 
over the world to make known the graces, the sweetness, 
the treasures that thou dispenses! to those who truly love 
thee ? Accept the desire that I have of seeing all hearts 
burning with love for thee, O divine heart ! be thou my 
consolation in trials, my repose in labors, my solace in 
anxieties, my haven in tempests. I consecrate to thee 
my body and my soul, my heart and my life, together 
with all that I am. I unite to thine all my thoughts, all 
my affections, all my desires. O eternal Father ! I offer 
Thee the pure affections of the heart of Jesus. If Thou 
dost reject mine, Thou canst not reject those of Thy Son, 

* This was written by St. Alphonsus, but remained unpublished till 
1875. ED. 

Affections of Love towards the Heart of Jesus. 257 

who is sanctity itself; may they supply what is wanting 
in me, and may they render me pleasing in Thy eyes ! 

St. Catharine of Genoa was one day permitted to see 
the heart of Jesus in his breast, and she saw it all on fire. 

One day our Lord deigned to approach St. Mechtilde, 
and she heard the heart of Jesus palpitating violently, as 
if some one had struck him blows on the breast. The 
Lord told her that his heart had thus palpitated from his 
infancy, on account of the love with which it was in 
flamed for mankind. Father Nieremberg also assures 
us that if Jesus had left to his love for us the liberty of 
producing its own effects, he would have died of love in 
his infancy. 

Jesus said to St. Gertrude: " Were it expedient, I 
would for thee alone suffer all that I have suffered for 
the whole world." 1 And to St. Mechtilde: "My love 
for souls is yet the same as that love which I bore them 
at the time of my Passion; I would die as many times as 
there are souls to save." 

St. Carpus appeared as if he desired to condemn to 
the abyss all sinners. Jesus said to him: "For my part, 
O Carpus, I am still ready to allow myself to be crucified 
for man." 

St. John of the Cross said: "Jesus loves each one of 
us as much as he loves all men." 

1 " Adhuc si expediret, pro te sola tolerarem omnia quae toleravi 
pro toto mundo." 

2 " Impelle me, Carpe, quia paratus sum pro hominibus crucifigi." 



The Loving Spouse. 

FLY, my soul, ah, fly away 

To Jesus heart so kind ; 
There love s captive thou shalt stay, 

And truest freedom find. 

See, thy foes are all around ; 

Thou art pursued, poor thing ! 
Safety in the ark is found, 

Then thither, dove, take wing. 

Why delay ? The world is woe, 

And care, and cold deceit ; 
God alone can joy bestow, 

And happiness complete. 

Give me, Lord, a place to dwell 

Within Thy heart so meek ; 
This shall be my prison cell, 

Where true repose I seek. 

All on earth I now disdain, 

And for Thy love resign ; 
This the fruit of every pain, 

To bind my heart to Thine. 

If within Thy heart divine 

To die my lot should be, 
Oh, what happy death were mine ! 

Such death were life to me. 

* St. Alphonsus, in adopting these two hymns and inserting them 
among his works, informs us that they were composed by another 
author, whom he does not name. ED. 

Hymns. 259 


The Loving Spouse in the Heart of Jesus. 

I DWELL a captive in this heart, 

On fire with love divine; 
Tis here I live alone in peace, 

And constant joy is mine. 

It is the Heart of God s own Son, 

In his humanity, 
Who, all enamoured of my soul, 

Here burns with love of me. 

Here, like the dove within the ark, 

Securely I repose ; 
Since now the Lord is my defence, 

I fear no earthly foes. 

Now I have found this happy home, 

God s love alone I prize ; 
All else is torment to my heart, 

The world I now despise. 

What though I suffer, still in love 

I ever true will be ; 
My love of God shall deeper grow 

When crosses fall on me. 

Then he who longs with me to seek 

Repose within this nest, 
All love that is not love for God, 

Must banish from his breast. 

Ye haughty lovers of the world, 

Full of self-love, depart ! 
Away, away ! no place is found 

For you within this heart. 

260 Hymns. 

Each vile and earthly chain impedes 
The soul s true heavenward flight ; 

All, all the heart belongs to God, 
Love claims his sovereign right. 

From ev ry bond of earth, dear Lord, 

Thy grace has set me free ; 
My soul, delivered from the snare, 

Enjoys true liberty. 

I cannot love Thee as I ought, 

This pains me, this alone ; 
For all my love must have an end ; 

Thy goodness, Lord, has none. 

One thought brings comfort to my heart- 

I love a good so great, 
That though I love him all I can, 

More love he merits yet. 

Naught more can I desire than this, 

To see his face in heaven ; 
And this I hope, since he on earth 

His heart in pledge has given. 

ie practice of tlje ouc of Scene l)tiet. 

WE have here one of the masterpieces of St. Alphon- 
sus, a book that speaks to all hearts, that reveals to 
every Christian soul its true wants .and the true means 
to satisfy them. One cannot read this book without be 
coming better; nor can one grow tired in reading it 
again and again. It is indeed a very highly-prized and 
widely-spread work. It was published in 1768. (Tan- 
noia, B. 3, ch. 41, 42.) 

The holy bishop, developing the celebrated text of St. 
Paul on the qualities of true charity, explains in thirteen 
chapters the principal virtues that we ought to practise 
and the defects that we ought to avoid in order to render 
to our Lord love for love. He treats of patience in gen 
eral (Chap. I.), and in particular in sicknesses, poverty, 
and contempt (Chap. X.); of meekness (Chaps. II. and 
VIII.); of purity of intention (Chap. III.); of tepidity, 
and the remedies against this vice, namely, the desire of 
perfection, the determination to attain perfection, men 
tal prayer, frequent communion, and prayer (Chap. IV.); 
of humility (Chap. V.); of ambition and vain-glory 
(Chap. VI.); of detachment from all things, especially 
when there is question of following one s vocation (Chap. 
VII.); of conformity to the will of God, and of obedi 
ence (Chap. IX.); of faith (Chap. XI.); of hope (Chap. 
XII.); and, finally, of temptations, and spiritual desola 
tion (Chap. XIII.). The work is concluded by a sum 
mary of virtues that are to be practised. ED. 


How deserving Jesus Christ is of our Love, on Account of 
the Love He has shown us in His Passion. 

THE whole sanctity and perfection of a soul consists 
in loving Jesus Christ, our God, our sovereign good, and 
our Redeemer. Whoever loves me, says Jesus Christ 
himself, shall be loved by my Eternal Father: My Father 
loves you because you have loved Me. 1 Some, says St. Francis 
de Sales, 2 make perfection consist in an austere life ; 
others in prayer; others in frequenting the Sacraments; 
others in alms-deeds. But they deceive themselves: per 
fection consists in loving God with our whole heart. 
The Apostle wrote : Above all things, . . . have charity, 
which is the bond of perfection? It is charity which keeps 
united and preserves all the virtues that render a man 
perfect. Hence St. Augustine said: " Love God, and do 
whatever you please;" 4 because a soul that loves God is 
taught by that same love never to do anything that will 
displease him, and to leave nothing undone that may 
please him. 

But perhaps God does not deserve all our love ? He 
has loved us with an everlasting love? O man, says the 
Lord, behold I was the first to love thee. Thou wast 

1 " Ipse enim Pater amat vos, quia vos me amastis." John, xvi. 

2 Spirit, p. i, ch. 25. 

3 "Super omnia, . . . charitatem habete, quod est vinculum per- 
fectionis." Col. iii. 14. 

4 " Ama, et fac quod vis." 

c In charitate perpetua dilexi te." Jcr. xxxi. 3. 

264 The Practice of the Love of Jcszis Christ. 

not yet in the world, nay, the world itself was not, and 
I already loved thee. As long as I am God, I loved 
thee; as long as I have loved myself, I have also loved 
thee. With good reason, therefore, did St. Agnes, that 
young holy virgin, reply to those who wished to unite 
her to an earthly spouse: " I am engaged to another 
lover." 1 "Go," said she, "O lovers of this world, cease 
to sue my love; my God was the first to love me. He 
has loved me from all eternity: it is but just, then, for 
me to give him all my affections, and to love none other 
but him." 

As Almighty God knew that man is won by kindness, 
he determined to lavish his gifts upon him, aiid so take 
captive the affections of his heart. For this reason he 
said, / will draw them with the cords of Adam, with the bands 
of love? 1 I will catch men by those very snares by which 
they are naturally caught, that is, by the snares of love. 
And such exactly are all the favors of God to man. After 
having given him a soul created in his own image, with 
memory, understanding, and will, and a body with its 
senses, he created heaven and earth for him, yes, all that 
exists, all for the love of man, the firmament, the stars, 
the planets, the seas, the rivers, the fountains, the hills, 
the plains, metais, fruits, and a countless variety of ani 
mals: and all these creatures that they might minister to 
the uses of man, and that man might love him in grati 
tude for so many admirable gifts. 

"Heaven and earth, and all things, tell me to love 
Thee," 3 says St. Augustine. " My Lord," he said, " what 
ever I behold on the earth, or above the earth, all speak 
to me, and exhort me to love Thee; because all assure 
me that Thou hast made them for the love of me." 

1 " Ab alio amatore praeventa sum," 

2 " In funiculis Adam traham eos, in vinculis charitatis." Osee, 
Ki. 4- 

3 " Coelum et terra et omnia mihi dicunt, ut te amem." Conf. B. 
10, c. 6, 

Intro d. /. The Passion of Jesus Christ. 265 

The Abbot de Ranee, founder of La Trappe, when 
from his hermitage he stood and surveyed the hills, the 
fountains, the birds, the flowers, the planets, and the 
skies, felt himself animated by each one of these creat 
ures to love that God who had created all through love 
to him. 

In like manner St. Mary Magdalene of Pazzi, when 
she held any beautiful flower in her hand, was enkindled 
by the sight of it with love to God; and she would say: 
"And God, then, has thought from all eternity of creat 
ing this flower for love of me !" Thus did that flower 
become, as it were, a dart of love, which sweetly 
wounded her, and united her more and more to her 

On the other hand, St. Teresa, at the sight of trees, 
fountains, rivers, lakes, or meadows, declared that all 
these fair things upbraided her for her ingratitude in 
loving- so coldly a God who created them that he might 
be loved by her. 

To the like purpose is it related of a pious hermit, 
that when walking through the country, it seemed to him 
that the plants and flowers in his path reproached him 
for the cold return of love he made to God ; so that he 
went along gently striking them with his staff, and say 
ing to them: "Oh, be silent, be silent; you call me an 
ungrateful wretch; you tell me God has made you for 
love of me, and yet I do not love him; but now I un 
derstand you, be silent, be silent; do not reproach me 

But God was not satisfied with giving us so many 
beautiful creatures. He has gone to such lengths to gain 
our love, as to give himself to us. The Eternal Father 
did not hesitate to give us even his only-begotten Son: 
For God so fared the world as to give His only -begotten />>>;/. 

1 "Sicenim Deus dilexit mundum, tit Filium unigenitum daret." 
John, iii. 16. 

266 The Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

When the Eternal Father saw that we were all dead, 
and deprived of his grace by sin, what did he do ? for 
the immense love, nay, as the Apostle writes, for the too 
great love he bore us, he sent his beloved Son to make 
atonement for us; and so to restore to us that life which 
sin had robbed us of: Who through his exceeding charity 
with which He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath 
quickened us together in Christ? And in granting us his 
Son (not sparing his Son, that he might spare us), he has 
granted us every good together with him, his grace, his 
love, and paradise, since assuredly all these gifts are 
much less than that of his Son: He that spared not even 
His own Son, but delivered Him tip for its all, how hath He not 
also with Him given us all things. 1 

And so, likewise, the Son, through his love towards 
us, has given himself wholly to us: Who loved me, and de 
livered Himself for me? In order to redeem us from ever 
lasting death, and to recover for us the divine grace and 
heaven which we had forfeited, he became man, and put 
on flesh like our own: And the Word was made flesh* Be 
hold, then, a God reduced to nothingness: But emptied 
Himself, taking the form of a servant, . . . and in habit 
found as a mauj" Behold the sovereign of the world 
humbling himself so low as to assume the form of a ser 
vant, and to subject himself to all the miseries which the 
rest of men endure. 

But what is more astonishing still is, that he could 
very well have saved us without dying and without suf- 

1 " Propter nimiam charitatem suam quadilexit nos, et cum essemus 
mortui peccatis, convivificavit nos in Christo." Eph. ii. 4. 

2 "Qui etiam proprio Filio suo non pepercit, sed pro nobis omni 
bus tradidit ilium: quomodo non etiam cum illo omnia nobis dona- 
vit?" Rom. viii. 32. 

3 " Dilexit me, et tradidit semetipsum pro me." Gal. ii. 20. 

4 " Et Verbum caro factum est." John, \. 14. 

6 " Exinanivit semetipsum formam servi accipiens, . . . et habitu 
inventus ut homo." Phil. ii. 7. 

Introd. /. The Passion of Jesus Christ. 267 

faring at all; but no: he chose a life of sorrow and con 
tempt, and a death of bitterness and ignominy even to 
the expiring on a cross, the gibbet of infamy, the award 
of vilest criminals: He humbled Himself, becoming obedient 
unto death, even to the death of the cross. 1 But why, if he 
could have ransomed us without suffering, why should 
he choose to die, and to die on a cross ? To show us how 
he loved us. He loved us, and delivered Himself for us? 
He loved us, and because he loved us, he delivered him 
self up to sorrows, and ignominies, and to a death more 
cruel than ever any man endured in this world. 

Hence that great lover of Jesus Christ, St. Paul, took 
occasion to say: The charity of Christ presseth us? Wish 
ing to show us by these words that it is not so much the 
sufferings themselves of Jesus Christ as his love in endur 
ing them, that obliges us, and, as it were, constrains us 
to love him. Let us hear what St. Francis de Sales says 
on this text: " When we remember that Jesus Christ, 
true God, has loved us to such an excess as to suffer 
death, and the death of the cross, for us, our hearts are, 
as it were, put in a wine-press, and suffer violence, until 
love be extorted from them, but a violence which, the 
stronger it is, becomes the more delightful." 4 He then 
goes on to say, " Ah ! why do we not therefore cast our 
selves on Jesus crucified, to die on the cross with him, 
who has chosen to die for love of us ? I will hold him 
(should we say), and I will never let him go; I will die 
with him, and will be consumed in the flames of his love. 
One flame shall consume this divine Creator and his 
miserable creature. My Jesus gives himself unreservedly 
to me, and I give myself unreservedly to him. I will live 

" Humiliavit semetipsum, factus obediens usque d mortem, mor 
tem autem crucis." Phil. ii. 8. 

2 " Dilexit nos, et tradidit semetipsum pro nobis." Eph. v. 2. 

" Charitas Christi urget nos." 2 Cor. v. 14. 
4 Love of God, B. 7, c. 8. 

268 The Practice of tJie Love of Jesus Christ. 

and die on his loving breast; neither life nor death shall 
ever separate me from him. O eternal love, my soul 
longs after Thee, and makes choice of Thee forever. 
Come, O Holy Spirit, and inflame our hearts with love. 
O love, O death, to die to all other loves, to live solely to 
that of Jesus Christ! O Redeemer of our souls, grant 
that we may eternally sing, Live, Jesus ! I love Jesus; 
live, Jesus, whom I love ! yes, I love Jesus, who reigns 
for evermore." } 

The love of Jesus Christ towards men created in him 
a longing desire for the moment of his death, when his 
love should be fully manifested to them; hence he was 
wont to say in his lifetime: / have a baptism wherewith I 
am to be baptized, and how am I straitened till it be accom 
plished! - I have to be baptized in my own blood; and 
how do I feel myself straitened with the desire that the 
hour of my Passion may soon arrive; for then man will 
know the love which I bear him ! Hence St. John, speak 
ing of that night in which Jesus began his Passion, 
writes: Jesus knowing that His hour was come, that He 
should pass out of this world to the Father, having loved His 
own who were in the world, He loved them unto the end.* The 
Redeemer called that hour His own hour, because the 
time of his death was the time desired by him; as it was 
then that he wished to give mankind the last- proof of 
his love, by dying for them upon a cross overwhelmed 
by sorrows. 

But what could have ever induced a God to die as a 
malefactor upon a cross between two sinners, with such 
insult to his divine majesty ? "Who did this ?" asks St. 

1 Love of God, B. 12, c. 13. 

2 " Baptismo habeo baptizari; et quomodo coarctor usquedum per- 
ficiatur !" Luke, xii. 50. 

3 " Sciens Jesus quia venit hora ejus, ut transeat ex hoc mundo ad 
Patrem, cum dilexisset suos, ... in finem dilexit eos." John, 
xiii. i. 

In trod. /. The Passion of Jcszis Christ. 269 

Bernard; he answers, "It was love, careless of its dig 
nity." 1 Ah, love indeed, when it tries to make itself 
known, does not seek what is becoming to the dignity of 
the lover, but what will serve best to declare itself to the 
object loved. St. Francis of Paula therefore had good 
reason to cry out at the sight of a crucifix, " O charity, O 
charity, O charity !" And in like manner, when we look 
upon Jesus on the cross, we should all exclaim, O love, 
O love, O love ! 

Ah, if faith had not assured us of it, who could ever 
have believed that a God, almighty, most happy, and the 
Lord of all, should have condescended to love man to 
such an extent that he seems to go out of himself for the 
love of him ? We have seen Wisdom itself, that is the 
Eternal Word, become foolish through the excessive love 
he bore to man ! So spoke St. Laurence Justinian: 
" We see Wisdom itself infatuated through excess of 
love." 3 St. Mary Magdalene of Pazzi said the same: 
One day, being in ecstasy, she took a wooden crucifix in 
her hands, and then cried out: " Yes, my Jesus, Thou art 
mad with love: I repeat it, and I will say it forever: My 
Jesus, thou art mad with love." But no, says St. Denis 
the Areopagite; " no, it is not madness, but the ordinary 
effect of divine love, which makes him who loves go out 
of himself, in order to give himself up entirely to the 
object of his love: divine love causes ecstasy." 1 

Oh, if men would only pause and consider, looking at 
Jesus on the cross, the love that he has borne each one 
of them ! " With what love," says St. Francis de Sales, 
"would not our souls become enkindled at the sight of 
those flames which are in the Redeemer s breast ! And 
oh, what happiness, to be able to be consumed by that 

1 " Quis hoc fecit ? Fecit amor, dignitatis nescius." In Cant. s. d. 

2 Vidimus Sapientiam amoris nimietate infatuatam." Scrnt. de 
Nat. D. 

" Extasim facit divinus amor." De Div. Noin. c. 4. 


2 70 The Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

same fire with which our God burns for us ! What joy, 
to be united to God by the chains of love !" St. Bona- 
venture called the wounds of Jesus Christ, wounds which 
pierce the most senseless hearts, and which inflame the 
most icy souls. 1 How many darts of love come forth 
from those wounds, to wound the hardest hearts ! Oh, 
what flames issue from the burning heart of Jesus Christ 
to inflame the coldest souls ! And chains, how many, 
from that wounded side, to bind the most stubborn 
wills ! 

The Venerable John of Avila, who was so possessed 
with the love of Jesus Christ that he never failed in any 
of his sermons to speak of the love which Jesus Christ 
bears towards us, in a treatise on the love which this 
most loving Redeemer has for men, has expressed him 
self in sentiments so full of the fire of devotion, and of 
such beauty, that I desire to insert them here. He says 
as follows: 

" Thou, O Redeemer, hast loved man in such a manner, 
that whoso reflects upon this love cannot do less than 
love Thee; for Thy love offers violence to hearts: as the 
Apostle says : The charity of Christ prcsscth us? The 
source of the love of Jesus Christ for men is his love for 
God. Hence he said on Maunday Thursday, That the 
world may know that I love the Father, arise, let us go Jience. 3 
But whither? To die for men upon the cross." 
"No human intellect can conceive how strongly this fire 
burns in the heart of Jesus Christ. As he was com 
manded to suffer death once, so, had he been commanded 
to die a thousand times, his love had been sufficient to 
endure it. And if what he suffered for all men had been 

1 " Vulnera, corda saxea vulnerantia, et mentes congelatas inflam- 
mantia." Stint, div. a/n. p. i, c. I. 

2 " Charitas Christ! urget nos." 2 Cor. v. 14. 

3 " Ut cognoscat mundus quia diligo Patrem, . . . surgite, eamus." 
John, xiv. 31. 

In trod. /. TJie Passion of Jesus Christ. 271 

imposed upon him for the salvation of one single soul, 
he would have done the same for each in particular as 
he did for all. And as he remained three hours upon 
the cross, so, had it been necessary, his love would have 
made him remain there even to the day of judgment. So 
that Jesus Christ loved much more than he suffered. O 
divine love, how far greater wert thou than thou out 
wardly seemedst to be; for though so many wounds 
and bruises tell us of great love, still they do not tell 
all its greatness. There was far more within than that 
which appeared externally. That was but as a spark 
which bounded forth from the vast ocean of infinite love. 
This is the greatest mark of love, to lay down our life for 
our friends. But this was not a sufficient mark for Jesus 
Christ wherewith to express his love." 

" This is the love which causes holy souls to lose them 
selves, and to stand amazed, when once they have been 
allowed to know it. From it spring those burning sen 
timents of ardor, the desire of martyrdom, joy in suffer 
ings, exultation under the storms of distress, the force to 
walk on burning coals as if they were roses, a thirst for 
sufferings, rejoicing in that which the world dreads, em 
bracing that which it abhors. St. Ambrose says that the 
soul which is espoused to Jesus Christ upon the cross, 
thinks nothing so glorious as to bear upon itself the 
marks of the crucified one." 

" But how, O my lover, shall I repay this your love ! 
It is right that blood should be compensated by blood. 
May I behold myself dyed in this blood and nailed to 
this cross ! O holy cross, receive me also ! O crown of 
thorns, enlarge thyself, that I too may place thee on my 
head ! O nails, leave those innocent hands of my Lord, 
and come and pierce my heart with compassion and with 
love ! For Thou, my Jesus, didst die, as St. Paul says, 
in order to gain dominion over the living and the dead, 
not by means of chastisements, but bv love:" For to this. 

272 TJie Practice of t lie Love of Jesus CJirist. 

end Christ died and rose again: that He might be Lord both of 
the dead and of the living. 

" O robber of hearts, the strength of Thy iove has 
broken the exceeding hardness of our hearts ! Thou hast 
inflamed the whole world with Thy love. O most lov 
ing Lord, inebriate our hearts with this wine, consume 
them with this fire, pierce them with this dart of Thy 
love ! Thy Cross is indeed an arrow which pierces 
hearts. May all the world know that my heart is smit 
ten ! O sweetest love, what hast Thou done ? Thou 
hast come to heal me, and Thou hast wounded me. Thou 
hast come to teach me, and Thou hast made me well-nigh 
mad. O madness full of wisdom, may I never live with 
out you ! All, O Lord, that I behold upon the cross 
invites me to love Thee : the wood, the figure, the 
wounds of Thy body; and above all, Thy love, engages 
me to love Thee, and never to forget Thee more." 2 

But in order to arrive at the perfect love of Jesus 
Christ, we must adopt the means. Behold, then, the 
means which St. Thomas Aquinas gives us: 3 

1. To have a constant remembrance of the benefits of 
God, both general and particular. 

2. To consider the infinite goodness of God, who is 
ever waiting to do us good, and who ever loves us, and 
seeks from us our love. 

3. To avoid even the smallest tiling that could offend 

4. To renounce all the sensible goods of this world, 
riches, honors, and sensual pleasures. 

Father Tauler 4 says that meditation on the sacred 
Passion of Jesus Christ is a great means also for acquir 
ing his perfect love. 

1 " In hoc enim Christus mortuus est et resurrexit, ut et mortuorum 
et vivorum dominetur." Rom. xiv. 9, 

2 Disc, on the Love of God. 
a DC Duob. Prac. c. 4. 

4 Epist. 20. 

Introd. /. The Passion of Jesus Christ. 273 

Who can deny that, of all devotions, devotion to the 
Passion of Jesus Christ is the most useful, the most 
tender, the most agreeable to God, one that gives the 
greatest consolation to sinners, and at the same time 
most powerfully enkindles loving souls ? Whence is it 
that we receive so many blessings, if it be not from the 
Passion of Jesus Christ ? Whence have we hope of 
pardon, courage against temptations, confidence that we 
shall go to heaven ? Whence are so many lights to know 
the truth, so many loving calls, so many spurrings to 
change our life, so many desires to give ourselves up to 
God, except from the Passion of Jesus Christ? The 
Apostle therefore had but too great reason to declare 
him to be excommunicated who did not love Jesus Christ. 
If any man love not our Lord Jesus Christ, let him be anath 

St. Bonaventure says there is no devotion more fitted 
for sanctifying a soul than meditation on the Passion of 
Jesus Christ; whence he advises us to meditate every 
day upon the Passion, if we would advance in the love 
of God. "If you would make progress, meditate daily 
on the Passion of the Lord; for nothing works such an 
entire sanctification in the soul, as the meditation of the 
Passion of Christ." And before him St. Augustine, as 
Bustis relates, said, that one tear shed in memory of the 
Passion is worth more than to fast weekly on bread and 
water fora year. 3 Wherefore the saints were always oc 
cupied in considering the sorrows of Jesus Christ: it was 
by this means that St. Francis of Assisi became a seraph. 

1 " Si quis non amat Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, sit ana 
thema." I Cor. xvi. 22. 

-"Si vis proficere, quotidie mediteris Domini passionem ; nihil 
enim in anima ita operatur universalem sanctimoniam, sicut medi- 
tatio passionis Christi." 

3 " Magis meretur vel unam lacrymam emittens ob memoriam pas 
sionis Christi, quam si qualibet anni hebdomada in pane et aqua 
jejunaret." Rosar. p. 2, s. 15. 

2 74 The Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

He was one day found by a gentleman shedding tears, 
and crying out with a loud voice: being asked the cause 
" I weep," he answered, " over the sorrows and ignomin 
ies of my Lord: and what causes me the greatest sorrow 
is, that men, for whom he suffered so much, live in for- 
getfulness of him." And on saying this he wept the 
more, so that this gentleman began also himself to weep. 
When the saint heard the bleating of a lamb, or saw 
anything which reminded him of the Passion of Jesus, 
he immediately shed tears. On another occasion, being 
sick, some one told him to read some pious book. " My 
book," he replied, "is Jesus crucified." Hence he did 
nothing but exhort his brethren to be ever thinking of 
the Passion of Jesus Christ. Tiepoli writes : " He who 
becomes not inflamed with the love of God by looking 
on Jesus dead upon the cross, will never love at all." 

Affections and Prayers. 

O Eternal Word ! Thou hast spent three -and-thirty years in 
labors and fatigues ; Thou hast given Thy life and Thy blood 
for man s salvation ; in short, Thou hast spared nothing to make 
men love Thee ; and how is it possible that there should be 
those who know this, and yet do not love Thee ? O God, 
amongst these ungrateful ones I also may be numbered ! I see 
the wrong I have done Thee ; O my Jesus, have pity upon me ! 
I offer Thee this ungrateful heart ungrateful it is true, but 
penitent. Yes, I repent above every other evil, O my dear Re 
deemer, for having despised Thee ! I repent, and I am sorry 
with my whole heart. O my soul, love a God who is bound like 
a criminal for thee ; a God scourged like a slave for thee ; a God 
made a mock-king for thee ; a God, in short, dead upon a cross, 
as the vilest outcast for thee ! Yes, my Saviour, my God, I love 
Thee, I love Thee ! Bring continually to my remembrance, I 
beseech Thee, all that Thou hast suffered for me, so that I may 
never more forget to love Thee. O cords that bound my Jesus, 
bind me to Jesus ; thorns that crowned my Jesus, pierce me with 
the love of Jesus ; nails that transfixed my Jesus, nail me to the 
Cross of Jesus, that I may live and die united to Jesus. O blood 

Introd. //. The Blessed Sacrament. 275 

of Jesns, inebriate me with his holy love ! O death of Jesus, 
make me die to every earthly affection ! Pierced feet of my 
Lord, I embrace you; deliver me from hell, which I have de 
served ; my Jesus, in hell I could no more love Thee, and yet I 
desire to love Thee always. Save me, my dearest Saviour; 
bind me to Thyself, that I may never again lose Thee. 

O Mary, refuge of sinners, and Mother of my Saviour ! help a 
sinner who wishes to love God, and who recommends himself to 
thee ; succor me for the love thou bearest to Jesus Christ. 


How much Jesus Christ deserves to be Loved by us, on Ac 
count of the Love He has shown us in Instituting the 
most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. 

Jesus, knowing ihat His hour was come, that He should pass 
out of this world to the Father: having loved His own . . . 
He loved them unto the end. 1 Our most loving Saviour, 
knowing that his hour was now come for leaving this 
earth, desired, before he went to die for us, to leave us the 
greatest possible mark of his love; and this was the gift 
of the most Holy Sacrament. 

St. Bernardine of Sienna remarks, that men remember 
more continually and love more tenderly the signs of 
love which are shown to them in the hour of death. 
Hence it is the custom that friends, when about to die, 
leave to those persons whom they have loved some gift, 
such as a garment or a ring, as a memorial of their affec 
tion. But what hast Thou, O my Jesus, left us, when 
quitting this world, in memory of Thy love? Not, in 
deed, a garment or a ring, but Thine own body, Thy 
blood, Thy soul, Thy divinity, Thy whole self, without 

"Sciens Jesus quia venit hora ejus, ut transeat ex hoc mundo ad 
Patrem, cum dilexisset suos qui erant in mundo, in finem dilexit 
eos." John, xiii. I. 

" Quae in fine in signum amicitiae celebrantur, firmius memoriae 
imprimuntur, et cariora tenentur." T. ii. s. 54, a. i, c. I. 

2 j6 The Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

reserve. " He gave thee all," says St. John Chrysostom; 
"He left nothing for himself." l 

The Council of Trent says, 2 that in this gift of the 
Eucharist Jesus Christ desired, as it were, to pour forth 
all the riches of the love he had for men. And the 
Apostle observes, that Jesus desired to bestow this gift 
upon men on the very night itself when they were plan 
ning his death: The same night in which He was betrayed, 
He took bread; and giving thanks, broke and said: Take ye, 
and eat: this is My body? St. Bernardine of Sienna says, 
that Jesus Christ, burning with love for us, and not con 
tent with being prepared to give his life for us, was con 
strained by the excess of his love to work a greater work 
before he died; and this was to give his own body for 
our food. 4 

This Sacrament, therefore, was rightly named by St. 
Thomas, "//2<? Sacrament of love, the pledge of love." 5 
Sacrament of love; for love was the only motive which 
induced Jesus Christ to give us in it his whole self, 
Pledge of love; so that if we had ever doubted his love, 
we should have in this sacrament a pledge of it: as if 
our Redeemer, in leaving us this gift, had said: O souls, 
if you ever doubt my love, behold, I leave you myself in 
this Sacrament: with such a pledge, you can never any 
more doubt that I love you, and love you to excess. But 
more, St. Bernard calls this sacrament " the love of 
loves;" 6 because this gift comprehends all the other gifts 

1 " Totum tibi dedit, nihil sibi reliquit." ^ 

2 " Divitias divini sui erga homines amoris velut effudit." Sess. 
xiii. c. 2. 

3 " In qua nocte tradebatur, accepit panem, et gratias agens fregit, 
et dixit: Accipite et manducate; hoc est corpus meum." I Cor. xi. 23. 

4 " In illo fervoris excessu, quando paratus erat pro nobis mori, ab 
excessu amoris majus opus agere coactus est, quam umquam operatus 
fuit, dare nobis corpus in cibum." Loco cit. 

6 " Sacramentum charitatis, Pignus charitatis." 
6 " Amor amorum.. " 

Introd. //. The Blessed Sacrament. 277 

bestowed upon us by our Lord, creation, redemption, 
predestination to glory; so that the Eucharist is not only 
a pi-edge of the love of Jesus Christ, but of paradise, 
which he desires also to give us. " In which, "says the 
Church, "a pledge of future glory is given us." Hence 
St. Philip Neri could find no other name for Jesus 
Christ in the Sacrament save that of love;" and so, 
when the holy Viaticum was brought to him, he was 
heard to exclaim, " Behold my love; give me my love." 

The prophet Isaias 2 desired that the whole world 
should know the tender inventions that our God has 
made use of, wherewith to make men love him. And 
who could ever have thought if he himself had not 
done it that the Incarnate Word would hide himself 
under the appearances of bread, in order to become him 
self our food ? * Does it not seem foil) ," says St. Augus 
tine, " to say, Eat my flesh; drink my blood ?" 3 When 
Jesus Christ revealed to his disciples the sacrament he 
desired to leave them, they could not bring themselves 
to believe him; and they left him, saying: How can this 
Man give us His flesh to eat ? . . . This saying is hard, and 
who can hear it? 4 But that which men could neither con 
ceive nor believe, the great love of Jesus Christ hath 
thought of and accomplished. Take ye, and eat, said he 
to his disciples before he went to die; and through them 
to us all. Receive and eat: but what food shall that be, 
O Saviour of the world, which Thou desirest to give us 
before Thou diest ? Take ye, and eat ; this is my body? 

1 " In quo . . . futune gloriae nobis pignus datur." 

2 Isa. xii. 4. 

"Nonne videtur insania: Manducate meam carnem, bibite meum 
sanguinem ?" Tn Ps. xxxiii. en, i. 

" Quorruodo potest hie nobis carnem suam dare ad manducan- 
dum? Durus est hie sermo; et quis potest eum audire?" John, vi. 
53, 61. 

" Accipite et manducate; hoc est corpus meum." 

2 78 The Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

This is not earthly food; it is I myself who give myself 
entirely to you. 

And oh, with what desire does Jesus Christ pant to 
come into our souls in the Holy Communion ! With de 
sire I have desired to eat tliis pasch with you before I suffer. 1 
So he spoke on that night in which he instituted this 
sacrament of love. With desire I have desired: so did the 
excessive love which he bore us cause him to speak, as 
St. Laurence Justinian remarks: " These are the words of 
most burning love." 2 And in order that everyone might 
easily receive him, he desired to leave himself under the 
appearance of bread; for if he had left himself under the 
appearance of some rare or very costly food, the poor 
would have been deprived of him; but no, Jesus would 
hide himself under the form of bread, which costs but little, 
and can be found everywhere, in order that all in every 
country might be able to find him and receive him. 

In order, then, to excite us to receive him in the Holy 
Communion, he not only exhorts us to do so by so many 
invitations, Come, eat My bread; and drink the wine which 
I have mingled for you? Eat, O friends, and drink? speak 
ing of this heavenly bread and wine, but he even gives 
us a formal precept: Take ye, and eat; this is My body. And 
more than this; that we may go and receive him, he en 
tices us with the promise of paradise. He that eatet/i My 
flesh hath everlasting life. He that eatetJi this bread shall live 
forever? And still more, he threatens us with hell, and 
exclusion from paradise, if we refuse to communicate. 
Except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, you shall not have 

1 " Desiderio desideravi hoc pascha manducare vobiscum." Luke, 
xxii. 15. 

* " Flagrantissimae charitatis est vox haec." De Tr. Chr. Ag. c. 2. 

3 " Venite, comedite panem meum, et bibite vinum quod miscui 
vobis." Prov. ix. 5. 

4 " Comedite, amici, et bibite." Cant. v. i. 

5 " Qui manducat meam carnem, . . . habct vitam reternam. Qui 
manducat hunc panem, vivet in seternum." John, vi. 55, 59. 

In f rod. II. The Blessed Sacrament. 279 

life in you. 1 These invitations, these promises, these 
threats, all proceed from the great desire he has to come 
to us in this sacrament. 

But why is it that Jesus Christ so desires that we 
should receive him in the Holy Communion ? Here is 
the reason. St. Denis says that love always sighs after 
and tends to union, and so also says St. Thomas, 
"Lovers desire of two to become one. " Friends who 
really love each other would like to be so united as to 
become one person. Now this is what the infinite love 
of God for man has done; that he would not only give 
us himself in the eternal kingdom, but even in this life 
would permit men to possess him in the most intimate 
union, by giving them himself, whole and entire, under 
the appearances of bread in the sacrament. He stands 
there as though behind a wall; and from thence he be 
holds, as it were, through a closed lattice: Behold He 
standcth behind our wall, looking through the windows, looking 
through the lattices: 1 It is true, we do not see him; but 
he sees us, and is there really present: he is present, in 
order that we may possess him: but he hides himself 
from us to make us desire him: and as long as we have 
not reached our true country, Jesus desires to give him 
self wholly to us, and to remain united with us. 

He could not satisfy his love by giving himself to the 
human race by his Incarnation and by his Passion, dying 
for all men upon the cross; but he desired to find out 
a way whereby he might give himself entirely to each 
one of us in particular; and for this end he instituted 
the Sacrament of the Altar, in order to unite himself 
wholly to each: He that cateth My flesh, he said, abideth in 

1 " Nisi manducaveritis carnem Filii hominis, . . . non habebitis 
vitam in vobis." John, vi. 54. 

" Amantes desiderant ex ambobus fieri unum." i. 2, q. 28, a. I. 

" En ipse stat post parietem nostrum respiciens per fenestras, 
prospicicns per cancellos." Cant. ii. 9. 

280 The Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

me and 1 in him? In Holy Communion Jesus unites 
himself to the soul, and the soul to Jesus; and this is not 
a union of mere affection, but it is a true and real union. 
Hence St. Francis de Sales says: " In no other action 
can the Saviour be considered more tender or more lov 
ing than in this, in which he annihilates himself, so to 
say, and reduces himself to food, in order to penetrate 
our souls, and to unite himself to the hearts of his faith 
ful." St. John Chrysostom says, that Jesus Christ, 
through the ardent love which he bore us, desired so to 
unite himself to us, as to become one and the same thing 
with us. "He mingled himself with us, that we might 
be one thing; for this is the property of those who ar 
dently love." : 

"It was Thy wish, in short," says St. Laurence Justi 
nian, " O God, enamoured of our souls, to make, by means 
of this sacrament, Thine own heart, by an inseparable 
union, one and the same heart with ours ! >f< St. Bernar- 
dine of Sienna adds, -that " the gift of Jesus Christ to us 
as our food was the last step of his love ; since he gives 
himself to us in order to unite himself wholly to us ; in 
the same way as food becomes united with him who par 
takes of it." E Oh, how delighted is Jesus Christ to be 
united with our souls ! He one day said to his beloved 
servant, Margaret of Ypres, after Communion, "See, my 
daughter, the beautiful union that exists between me 

1 " Qui manducat meam carnem, ... in me manet, ct ego in illo." 
John, vi. 57. 

2 Introd. p. 2, ch. 21. 

3 " Semetipsum nobis imrniscuit, ut unum quid simus ; ardcnter 
enim amantium hoc est." Ad pop. Ant. horn. 61. 

4 " O quam mirabilis est dilectio tua, Domine Jesu, qui tuo corpori 
taliter nos incorporari voluisti, ut tecum unum cor et unam animam 
haberemus inseparabiliter colligatam!" De Inc. div. am. c. 5. 

5 " Ultimus gradus amoris est, cum se dedit nobis in cibum; quia 
dedit se nobis ad omnimodam unionem, sicut cibus et cibans invicem 
uniuntur." T. ii. s. 54, a. 4, c. i. 

Introd. //. The Blessed Sacrament. 281 

and thee: come, then, love me; and let us remain ever 
united in love, and let us never separate again." 

We must, then, be persuaded that a soul can neither 
do, nor think of doing, anything which gives greater 
pleasure to Jesus Christ than to communicate frequently, 
with dispositions suitable to the great guest whom she 
has to receive into her heart. I have said suitable, not 
indeed worthy dispositions; for if worthy were necessary, 
who could ever communicate? Another God would 
alone be worthy to receive God. By suitable, I mean 
such dispositions as become a miserable creature, clothed 
with the unhappy flesh of Adam. Ordinarily speaking, 
it is sufficient if a person communicates in a state of 
grace, and with a great desire of growing in the love of 
Jesus Christ. St. Francis de Sales said, " It is by love 
alone that we must receive Jesus Christ in the Commu 
nion, since it is through love alone that he gives himself 
to us." 1 For the rest, with regard to the number of 
times a person should communicate, in this he should be 
guided by the advice of his spiritual Father. Neverthe 
less, we should be aware that no state of life or employ 
ment, neither the married state nor business, prevents 
frequent Communion, when the director thinks it advis 
able, as Pope Innocent XI. has declared in his decree of 
1679, when he says, " Frequent Communion must be left 
to the judgment of the confessors .... who, for lay 
persons in business, or in the marriage state, must re 
commend it according as they see it will be profitable 
for their salvation." * 

We must next understand that there is nothing from 
which we can derive such profit as from the Communion. 
The Eternal Father has made Jesus Christ the possessor 

1 I nt rod. p. 2, ch. 21. 

" Frequens accessus (ad Eucharistiam) confessariorum judicio est 
relinquendus, qui, . . . laicis negotiatoribus et conjugatis, quod 
prospicient eorum saluti profuturum, id illis prrescribere dcbebunt." 

282 The Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

of all his own heavenly treasures. The Father hath 
given all things into His hands. Hence, when Jesus Christ 
comes to a soul in Holy Communion, he brings with 
him boundless treasures of grace; and consequently 
after Communion we can justly say, Now all good things 
came to me together with it? St. Denis says, that the Sac 
rament of the Eucharist is far more powerful for the 
sanctification of souls than all other spiritual means of 
grace; 3 and St. Vincent Ferrer, that one Communion 
does more for the soul than a week s fasting on bread 
and water. 

In the first place, as the Council of Trent teaches, 
Communion is that great remedy which frees us from 
venial, and preserves us against mortal sins. 4 It is said 
"from daily faults;" because according to St. Thomas, 5 
a man is excited by means of this sacrament to make 
acts of love, by which venial sins are forgiven. And it 
is said that " we are preserved from mortal sins, because 
Communion increases grace, which will preserve us 
from great faults. Hence Innocent III. says, that Jesus 
Christ delivered us from the power of sin by his Passion, 
but that by the Eucharist he delivers us from the power 
of sinning. 6 

This Sacrament, moreover, above all others, inflames 
our souls with divine love. God is love. 1 And he is a 
fire which consumes all earthly affections in our hearts. 
He is a consuming fire* And for this very purpose, 

1 " Omnia dedit ei Pater in manus." John, xiii. 3. 

2 " Venerunt mihi omnia bona pariter cum ilia." Wisd. vii. n. 

3 " Eucharistia maximam vim habet perficiendre sanctitatis." 

4 " Antidotum quo liberemur a culpis quotidianis, et a peccatis mor- 
talibus prreservemur." Sess. xiii. c. 2. 

5 P. 3, q. 79, a. 4. 

6 " Per crucis mysterium, eripuit nos a potestate peccati; per 
Eucharistiae sacramentum, liberat nos a voluntate peccandi." De Alt. 
Myst. 1. 4, c. 44. 

7 "Deus charitas est." I John, iv. 8. 

8 " Ignis consumens est." Deut. iv. 24. 

Introd. //. The Blessed Sacrament. 283 

namely, to enkindle this fire, the Son of God came upon 
earth. / am come to send fire on the earth; and lie 
added, that he desired nothing but to see this fire en 
kindled i no ursouls: And what will I but that it be kindled ? ] 
And oh, what flames of love does not Jesus Christ light 
up in the heart of every one who receives him devoutly 
in this sacrament ! St. Catharine of Sienna once saw 
the Host in a priest s hand appearing as a globe of fire; 
and the saint was astonished that the hearts of all men 
were not burned up, and, as it were, reduced to ashes by 
such a flame. Such brilliant rays issued from the face 
of St. Rose of Lima after Communion, as to dazzle the 
eyes of those who saw her ; and the heat from her mouth 
was so intense, that a hand held near it was scorched. 
It is related of St. Wenceslaus, that by merely visiting 
the churches where the Blessed Sacrament was kept, he 
was inflamed by such an ardor, that his servant who 
accompanied him did not fe*el the cold, if when walking 
on the snow he trod in the footsteps of the saint. 

St. John Chrysostom says that the most Holy Sacra 
ment is a burning fire ; so that when we leave the altar 
we breathe forth flames of love, which make us objects 
of terror to hell. 2 The spouse of the Canticles says: He 
brought me into the cellar of wine, He set in order charity in 
me. 3 St. Gregory of Nyssa says that Communion is 
precisely this cellar of wine, in which the soul becomes 
so inebriated with divine love, that it forgets and loses 
sight of creatures ; and this is that languishing with 
love of which the spouse again speaks: Stay me up with 

1 " Ignem vcni mittcre in terram; et quid volo, nisi ut accendatur ?" 
Luke, xii. 49. 

2 " Carbo cst Eucharistia, qure nos inflammat, ut tamquam leones 
ignem spirantes ab ilia mensa reccdamus, facti diabolo terribiles." 
Ad pop. Ant. hoin. 61. 

3 " Introduxit me in cellam vinariam, ordinavit in me charitatem." 
Cant. ii. 4. 

284 The Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

flowers, compass me about with apples, because I languish with 
love. 1 

Some one will say: " But this is the very reason why 
I do not communicate frequently, because I see that I 
am so cold in the love of God." Gerson answers such a 
one by saying : " Do you, therefore, because you are cold, 
willingly keep away from the fire ? Rather, because you 
feel yourself cold, should you so much the more fre 
quently approach this sacrament, if you really desire to 
love Jesus Christ." "Although it be with lukewarm- 
ness," wrote St. Bonaventure, "still approach, trusting 
in the mercy of God. The more one feels himself sick, 
the greater need has lie of a physician." 2 In like manner, 
St, Francis de Sales: " Two sorts of persons ought to go 
frequently to Communion: the perfect, in order to re 
main so; and the imperfect, in order to be become per 
fect." But for frequent Communion, it is at least 
necessary to have a great desire to become a saint and 
to grow in the love of Jesus Christ. Our Lord said 
once to St. Matilda: "When you go to Communion 
desire all the love which a soul has ever had for me, and 
I will receive your love according to your desire." 4 

Affections and Prayers. 

God of love, O infinite lover, worthy of infinite love, tell 
me what more canst Thou invent to make us love Thee? It 
was not sufficient for Thee to become man, and to subject 
Thyself to all our miseries ; not sufficient to shed all Thy blood 
for us in torments, and then to die overwhelmed with sorrow, 
upon a cross destined for the most shameful malefactors. Thou 

1 " Fulcite me floribus, stipate me mails, quia amore langueo." 
Cant. ii. 5. 

" 2 " Licet tepide, tamen confidens de misericordia Dei accedat ; (anto 
magis seger necesse habet requirere medicum, quanto magis senserit 
se aegrotum." De Prof. rcl. \. 2, c. 77. 

3 Introd. p. 2. ch. 21. 

4 Spir. Graf. 1. 3, c. 22. 

Introd. ///. Confidence in Jesus Christ. 285 

didst, at last, oblige Thyself to be hidden under the species of 
bread and wine, to become our food, and so united with each 
one of us. Tell me, I repeat, what more canst Thou invent to 
make Thyself loved by us? Ah, wretched shall we be if we do 
not love Thee in this life ! And when we shall have entered 
into eternity, what remorse shall we not feel for not having 
loved Thee ! My Jesus, I will not die without loving Thee, and 
loving Thee exceedingly ! I am heartily sorry, and am pained 
for having so greatly offended Thee. But now I love Thee 
above all things. I love Thee more than myself, and I conse 
crate to Thee all my affections. Do Thou, who inspires! me 
with this desire, give me also grace to accomplish it. My Jesus, 
my Jesus, I desire nothing of Thee but Thyself. Now that 
Thou hast drawn me to Thy love, I leave all, I renounce all, 
and I bind myself to Thee : Thou alone art sufficient for me. 

Mary, Mother of God, pray to Jesus for me, and make me 
a saint ! Add this also to the many wonders thou hast done in 
changing sinners into saints. 


The Great Confidence we ought to have in the Love which 
Jesus Christ has shown us and in all He has done for us. 

David placed all his hope of salvation in his future 
Redeemer, and said: Into Thy hands, O Lord, I commend 
my spirit ; Thou hast redeemed me, O Lord, the God of truth. 

But how much more ought we to place our confidence 
in Jesus Christ, now that he has come, and has accom 
plished the work of redemption ! Hence each one of us 
should say, and repeat again and again with greater con 
fidence: Into Thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit; 
Thou hast redeemed me, O Lord, the God of truth. l 

If we have great reason to fear everlasting death on 
account of our sins against God, we have, on the other 
hand, far greater reason to hope for everlasting life 
through the merits of Jesus Christ, which are infinitely 
more powerful for our salvation than our sins are for 

1 " In manus tuas commendo spiritum meum ; redemisti me, 
Domine Deus veritatis." Ps. xxx. 6.. 

286 The Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

our damnation. We have sinned, and have deserved 
hell; but the Redeemer has come to take upon himself 
all our offences, and to make satisfaction for them by 
His sufferings: Surely He hath borne our infirmities, and 
carried our sorrows? 

In the same unhappy moment in which we sinned, 
God had already written against us the sentence of 
eternal death; but what has our merciful Redeemer 
done ? Blotting out the handwriting of the decree which was 
against us, . . . the same He took out of the way, fastening it 
to the cross? He cancelled by his blood the decree of our 
condemnation, and then fastened it to the cross, in order 
that, when we look at the sentence of our damnation for 
the sins we have committed, we may at the same time 
see the cross on which Jesus Christ died and blotted out 
this sentence by his blood, and so regain hope of pardon 
and everlasting life. 

Oh, how far more powerfully does the blood of Jesus 
Christ speak for us, and obtain mercy for us from God, 
than did the blood of Abel speak against Cain ! You 
are come to Jesus the mediator of the New Testament, and to 
the sprinkling of blood, which speakcth better than that of 
Abel? As if the Apostle had said, " O sinners, happy 
are you to be able, after you have sinned, to have re 
course to Jesus crucified, who has shed all his blood, in 
order to become the mediator of peace between sinners 
and God, and to obtain pardon for them ! Your iniqui 
ties cry out against you, but the blood of the Redeemer 
pleads in your favor; and the divine justice cannot but 
be appeased by the voice of this precious blood." 

1 " Vere languores nostros ipse tulit, et dolores nostros ipse por- 
tavit." Isa. liii. 4. 

2 " Delens quod adversus nos erat chirographum decreti, quod erat 
contrarium nobis, et ipsum tulit de medio, affigens illud cruci." Col. 
ii. 14. 

3 " Accessistis ad ... Mediatorem Jesum, et sanguinis aspersio- 
nem melius loquentem quam Abel." Heb. xii. 22, 24. 

In trod. ///. Confidence in Jesus Christ. 287 

It is true that we shall have to render a rigorous ac 
count to the Eternal Judge of all our sins. But who is 
to be our Judge ? The Father hath committed all judgment 
to the Son. 1 Let us comfort ourselves, the Eternal Father 
has committed our judgment to our own Redeemer. 
Therefore St. Paul encourages us, saying, Who is he that 
shall condemn ? Christ Jesus who died, . . . who also maketh 
intercession for us? Who is the judge to condemn us? 
It is that same Saviour who, in order not to condemn us 
to everlasting death, vouchsafed himself to be con 
demned and to die; and not content with this, at this 
moment intercedes with his Father for our salvation. 
Hence St. Thomas of Villanova says: "What do you 
fear, O sinner, if you detest your sin ? How will he con 
demn you, who died in order not to condemn you ? how 
will he cast you from him, if you return to his feet, he 
who came from heaven to seek you at the very time you 
were flying from him ?" s 

And if we fear on account of our frailty to fall under 
the assaults of our enemies, against whom we must con 
tinually wage war, behold what we have to do, as the 
Apostle admonishes us: Let us run to the fight proposed 
unto us: looking on Jesus the author and finisher of faith, 
who having joy proposed unto Him, underwent the cross, de 
spising the shame* Let us go out to the battle with great 
courage, looking at Jesus crucified, who from his cross 
offers us his assistance, the victory, and crown. In past 
times we fell into sin because we left off looking at the 

1 " Pater . . . omne judicium dedit Filio." John, v. 22. 

- Quis est qui condemnet ? Christus Jesus, qui mortuus est, . . . 
qui etiam interpellat pro nobis." Rom. viii. 34. 

"Quid times, peccator? Quomodo te damnabit poenitentem, qui 
moritur ne damneris? Quomodo te abjiciet redeuntem, qui de coelo 
venit quaerere te ?" Tr. de Adv. D. 

4 " Curramus ad propositum nobis certamen, aspicientes in Auc- 
torem fidei et consummatorem Jesum, qui, proposito sibi gaudio, 
sustinuit crucem, confusione contempta. " Heb. xii. i, 2. 

288 The Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

wounds and the pains endured by our Redeemer, and 
so we did not have recourse to him for help. But if for 
the future we set before our eyes all he has suffered for 
love of us, and how he ever stands ready to assist us 
when we have recourse to him, it is certain that we shall 
not be conquered by our enemies. St. Teresa said, with 
her wonted generosity, " I do not understand the fears 
of certain persons, who say, The devil, the devil, so long 
as we can say, God, God, and make Satan tremble." 
On the other hand, the saint assures us, that if we do 
not place all our confidence in God, all our own exer 
tions will be of little or no avail. "All our exertions," 
these are her own words, "are of little use, if we do not 
give up entirely all trust in ourselves, and place it alto 
gether in God." 2 Oh, what two great mysteries of hope 
and love for us are the Passion of Jesus Christ and the 
Sacrament of the Altar ! mysteries, which we could 
have never believed, had not faith assured us of them. 
That God Almighty should deign to become man, shed 
all his blood, and die of sorrow upon a cross, and why? 
To pay for our sins, and gain salvation for us rebellious 
worms ! And then his own very body, orrce sa^fuficed 
upon the Cross for us, this he vouchsafes to give us for 
our food, in order to become wholly united with us! O 
God, how should not these two mysteries consume with 
love the hearts of all men! And what sinner is there, 
be he ever so abandoned, who can despair of pardon, if 
he repent of the evil he has done, when he sees a God so 
full of love for men, and so inclined to do them good ? 
Hence St. Bonaventure, full of confidence, said, " I will 
have great confidence, firmly hoping that he who has 
done and suffered so much for my salvation will deny 
me nothing that I have need of." 3 How can he refuse to 

1 Life, ch. 25. 2 Life, fA.S. 

3 " Fiducialiter agam, immobiliter sperans nihil ad salutem neces- 
sarium ab eo negandum, qui tanta pro mea salute fecit et pertulit " 

Introd. ///. Confidence in Jesus Christ. 289 

give me the graces necessary for my salvation, who has 
done and suffered so much to save me? 

Let us go therefore (the Apostle exhorts us) with confi 
dence to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find 
grace in seasonable aid. 1 The throne of grace is the cross 
on which Jesus sits to dispense graces and mercy to all 
who come to him. But we must quickly have recourse 
to him, if we would find seasonable aid for our salva 
tion: for there will come a time perhaps when we shall 
no longer be able to find it. Let us go quickly then and 
embrace the cross of Jesus Christ, and let us go with 
great confidence. Let us not be frightened by the sight 
of our miseries; in Jesus crucified we shall find all riches, 
all grace: /// all things you are made rich in Him, . . . so 
that nothing is wanting to yon in any grace? The merits of 
Jesus Christ have enriched us with all the divine treas 
ures, and have made us capable of every grace we can 

St. Leo says, "that Jesus has brought us by his death 
more good than the devil has done us harm by sin." : 
And by these words he explains what St. Paul said before 
him, that the gift of redemption is greater than sin : grace 
has overcome the offence. Not as the offence, so also is the 
gift : where sin abounded, grace hath abounded more.* From 
this the Saviour encourages us to hope for every favor 
and every grace through his merits. And see how he 
teaches us the way to obtain all we want from his Eternal 
Father: A/nen, amen, I say to you, if yon ask the Father 

1 " Adeamus ergo cum fiducia ad thronum gratia?, ut misericordiam 
consequamur, et gratiam inveniamus in auxilio opportune." Heb. 
iv. 16. 

2 " In omnibus divites facti estis in illo, . . . ita ut nihil vobis desit 
in ul!a gratia." I Cor. i. 5, 7. 

" Ampliora adept! sumus per Christ! gratiam, quam per diaboli 
amiseramus invidiam." De Asc. s. I. 

" Non sicut delictum, ita et donum: . . . ubi abundavit delictum, 
superabundavit gratia. " Rom. v. 15. 

290 The Practice of the Love of Jcsiis Christ. 

anything in My name, He ivill give it you? Whatever you 
desire, he says, ask for it of the Father in my name, and 
I promise you that you shall be heard. And indeed 
how shall the Father be able to deny us, when he has 
given us his only-begotten Son, whom he loves as him 
self? He that spared not even His own Son, but delivered 
Him up for us all, how hath He not also, with Him, given us 
all things?" The Apostle says all things ; so that no 
grace is excepted, neither pardon, nor perseverance, nor 
holy love, nor perfection, nor paradise, " all, all, he has 
given us." But we must pray to him. God is all liber 
ality to those who call upon him: Rich unto all that call 
upon Him. 1 

I will again quote here many other beautiful thoughts 
of the Venerable John of Avila, which he has left us in 
his letters, on the great confidence we should have in the 
merits of Jesus Christ : 

"Do not forget that Jesus Christ is the mediator be 
tween the Eternal Father and ourselves; and that we are 
beloved by him, and united to him by so strong bonds 
of love that nothing can break them, so long as a man 
does not himself dissolve them by some mortal sin. The 
blood of Jesus cries out, and asks mercy for us; and 
cries out so loudly that the noise of our sins is not heard. 
The death of Jesus Christ hath put to death our sins: 
O Death, I will be thy death ! 4 Those who are lost are not 
lost for want of means of satisfaction, but because they 
would not avail themselves of the sacraments as the 
means of profiting by the satisfaction made by Jesus 

1 " Amen, amen, dico vobis: si quid petieritis Patrem in nomine 
meo, dabit vobis." John, xvi. 23. 

2 " Pro nobis omnibus tradidit ilium; quomodo non etiam cum illo 
omnia nobis donavit?" Rom. viii. 32. 

3 " Dives in omnes qui invocant ilium." Ibid. x. 12. 

4 " O mors ! ero mors tua." Osee, xiii. 14. 

Introd. ///. Confidence in Jesus CJirist. 291 

"Jesus has taken upon himself the affair of remedying 
our evils, as if it had been personally his own affair. So 
that he has called our sins his own, although he -did not 
commit them, and has sought pardon for them; and with 
the most tender love has prayed, as if he were praying 
for himself, that all who should have recourse to him 
might become objects of love. And as he sought, so he 
found, because God has so ordained that Jesus and our 
selves should be so united in one, that either he and we 
should be loved, or he and we hated: and since Jesus is 
not or cannot be hated, in the same way, if we remain 
united by love to Jesus, we shall be also loved. By his 
being loved by God, we are also loved, seeing that Jesus 
Christ can do more to make us loved than we can do to 
make ourselves hated; since the Eternal Father loves 
Jesus Christ far more than he hates sinners. 

" Jesus said to his Father: Father, I will that where I am, 
they also whom Thou hast given Me may be with Me. 1 Love 
has conquered hatred; and thus we have been pardoned 
and loved, and are secure of never being abandoned, so 
strong is the tie of love that binds us. The Lord said by 
Isaias: Can a woman forget her infant? And if she should 
forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven Thee 
in My hands. 2 He has graven us in his hands with his 
own blood. Thus we should not trouble ourselves about 
anything, since everything is ordained by those hands 
which were nailed to the cross in testimony of the love 
he bears us. 

" Nothing can so trouble us on which Jesus Christ 
cannot reassure us. Let the sins I have committed sur 
round me, let the devils lay snares for me, let fears for 

" Pater ! quos dedisti. mihi, volo ut, ubi sum ego, et illi sint 
mecum." John, xvii. 24. 

" Numquid oblivisci potest mulier infantem suum, ut non misere- 
atur filio uteri sui? et si ilia oblita fuerit, ego tamen non obliviscar 
tui." Isu. xlix. 15. 

292 The Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

the future accuse me, by demanding mercy of the most 
tender Jesus Christ, who has loved me even until death, 
I cannot possibly lose confidence; for I see myself so 
highly valued, that God gave himself for me. O my 
Jesus, sure haven for those who seek Thee in time of 
peril! O most watchful Pastor, he deceives himself who 
does not trust in Thee, if only he has the will to amend 
his life ! Therefore Thou hast said: I am here, fear 
not; I am he who afflicts and who consoles. Some from 
time to time I place in desolations, which seem equal to 
hell itself; but after a while I bring them out and con 
sole them. I am thine advocate, who have made thy, 
cause my own. I am thy surety, who am come to pay 
thy debts. I am thy Lord, who have redeemed thee 
with my blood, not in order to abandon thee, but to en 
rich thee, having bought thee at a great price. How 
shall I fly from him who seeks me, when I went forth to 
meet those who sought to outrage me? I did not turn 
away my face from him who struck me; and shall I from 
him who would adore me ? How can my children doubt 
that I love them, seeing that out of love to them I placed 
myself in the hands of my enemies ? Whom have I ever 
despised that loved me ? Whom have I ever abandoned 
that sought my aid ? Even I go seeking those that do 
not seek me." 1 

If you believe that the Eternal Father has given you 
his Son, believe also that he will give you everything else 
which is infinitely less than his Son. Do not think that 
Jesus Christ is forgetful of you, since he has left you, as 
the greatest memorial and pledge of his love, himself in 
the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. 

Affections and Prayers. 

O my Jesus, my love, what joyful hope does Thy Passion give 
me ! How can I possibly fear not to receive from an Almighty 

1 Part 2, Ep. 48. 

Introd. IV. Love of Jesus Christ. 293 

God who has given me all his blood, the pardon of my sins, 
paradise, and all other graces that I require ! Ah, my Jesus, my 
hope and my love, Thou, in order that I might not perish, didst 
give Thy life ; I love Thee above every good, my Redeemer and 
my God. Thou gavest Thyself entirely to me; I give Thee my 
whole will, and with it I repeat that I love Thee, and I will always 
say, I love Thee, I love Thee. So I always desire to say in this life 
so I wish to die, breathing forth my last sigh with this dear word 
on my lips, My God, I love Thee ; and from that moment I may 
commence a love towards Thee which shall last forever, and 
without cessation for all eternity. I love Thee, then ; and be 
cause I love Thee, I repent above all things for having offended 
Thee. In order not to lose a passing satisfaction, I have been 
willing, wretch that lam, to lose Thee so often, O infinite good ! 
This thought torments me more than any pain : but it is a con 
solation to me to think that I have to do with infinite goodness, 
that knovvs not how to despise a heart that truly loves. Oh, that 
I could die for Thee, who didst die for me ! My dear Redeemer, 
I surely hope of Thee eternal salvation in the life to come, and 
in this life I hope for holy perseverance in Thy love ; and there 
fore I propose always to ask it of Thee. And do Thou, by the 
merits of Thy death, give me perseverance in praying to 
Thee. This too I ask and hope of thee, O Mary my Queen ! 

How much we are obliged to love Jesus Christ. 

Jesus Christ as God has a claim on all our love; but 
by the love which he has shown us, he wished to put us, 
so to speak, under the necessity of loving him, at least 
in gratitude for all that he has done and suffered for us. 
He has greatly loved us, that we might love him greatly. 
" Why does God love us, but that he may be loved ?" 
wrote St. Bernard. And Moses had said the same before 
him: And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of 
tliec, but that thou fear the Lord thy God . . . and love Him ? 2 

" Non ad aliud amat, nisi ut ametur." In Cant. s. 83. 
" Et nunc, Israel, quid Dominus Deus tuus petit a te, nisi lit 
timeas Dominum Deum tuum, . . . et diligas eurn ? Deut. x. 12. 

294 The Practice of the Love of Jesus CJirist. 

Therefore the first command which he gave us was this; 
Thou s halt love the Lord thy God with Thy whole heart? And 
St. Paul says, that love is the fulfilling of the law: Love 
is the fulfilling of the law. 2 For "fulfilling" the Greek 
text has the "embracing of the law;" 3 love embraces the 
entire law. 

Who. indeed, at the sight of a crucified God dying fot 
our love can refuse to love him ? Those thorns, those 
nails, that cross, those wounds, and that blood, call upon 
us, and irresistibly urge us, to love him who has loved 
us so much. One heart is too little wherewith to Jove 
this God so enamoured of us. In order to requite the 
love of Jesus Christ, it would require another God to die 
for his love. " Ah, why," exclaims St. Francis de Sales, 
"do we not throw ourselves on Jesus Christ, to die on 
the cross with him who was pleased to die there for the 
love of us ?" 4 The Apostle clearly impresses on us that 
Jesus Christ died for us for this end, that we might 
no longer live for ourselves, but solely for that God 
who died for us: Christ died for all, that they also who lire 
may not now live to themselves, but unto Him who died for 

And the recommendation of Ecclesiasticus is here in 
point: Forget not the kindness of thy surety ; for He Jiath 
given His life for thee! Be not unmindful of him who 
has stood surety for thee; who, to satisfy for thy sins, 
was willing to pay off, by his death, the debt of punish 
ment due from thee. Oh, how desirous is Jesus Christ 
that we should continually remember his Passion ! and 

1 " Diliges Dominum Deum tuum ex toto corde tuo." Dent. vi. 5, 

2 " Plenitude legis est dilectio." Rom. xiii. 10. 

3 "Completio legis." 

4 Love of God, B. 7, ch. 8. 

5 ;< Pro omnibus mortuus est Christus, ut et qui vivunt, jam non 
sibi vivant, sed ei qui pro ipsis mortuus est." 2 Cor. v. 15. 

6 " Gratiam fidejussoris ne obliviscaris; dedit enim pro te animam 
suam." Eccljis. xxix, 20. 

Int rod. IV. Love of Jesus Christ. 295 

how it saddens him to see that we are so unmindful of 
it ! Should a person endure for one of his friends affronts, 
blows, and imprisonment, how afflicting would it be for 
him to know that that friend afterwards never gave it 
a thought, and cared not even to hear it spoken of ! On 
the contrary, how gratified would he be to know that his 
friend constantly spoke of it with the warmest gratitude, 
and often thanked him for it. So it is pleasing to Jesus 
Christ when we preserve in our minds a grateful and 
loving recollection of the sorrows and death which he 
underwent for us. Jesus Christ was the desire of all the 
ancient Fathers; he was the desire of all nations before 
he was yet come upon earth. Now, how much more 
ought he to be our only desire and our only love, now 
that we know that he is really come, and are aware how 
much he has done and suffered for us, so that he even 
died upon the cross for love of us ! 

For this purpose he instituted the Sacrament of the 
Holy Eucharist on the day preceding his death, and gave 
us the injunction, that as often as we should be nour 
ished with his most sacred flesh, we should be mindful 
of his death: Take ye, and cat; this is My body. . . . This 
do for a commemoration of Me, etc. For as of fen as you shall 
eat this bread and drink the cJialice,you shall show the death of 
the Lord until He come. 1 Wherefore the holy Church prays: 
"O God ! who under this wonderful Sacrament hast left 
us a memorial of Thy Passion," 2 etc. And she also 
sings: "O sacred banquet, in which Christ is taken, the 
memory of his Passion is renewed," 3 etc. Hence we may 

1 " Accipite et manducate; hocest corpus meum: . . . hoc facitein 
meam commemorationem. . . . Quotiescumque enim manducabitis 
panem hunc, . . . mortem Domini annuntiabitis." i Cor. xi. 24. 

- " Deus qui nobis sub Sacramento mirabili passionis ture memo- 
riam reliquisti. . . ." 

3 "O sacrum convivium, in quo Christus sumilur, recolitur memo- 

296 The Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

gather how pleasing to Jesus Christ are they who think 
frequently of his Passion, since it was for this very pur 
pose that he left himself in the holy Sacrament upon our 
altars, in order that we might bear in continual and 
grateful remembrance all that he suffered for us, and 
by this means evermore increase our love towards 
him. St. Francis de Sales called Mount Calvary the 
mountain of lovers." It is impossible to remember that 
mount and not love Jesus Christ, who died there for love 
of us. 

God ! and how is it that men do not love this God 
who has done so much to be loved by men ! Before the 
Incarnation of the Word, man might have doubted 
whether God loved him with a true love; but after the 
coming of the Son of God, and after his dying for the 
love of men, how can we possibly doubt of his love? " O 
man," says St. Thomas of Villanova, "look on that cross, 
on those torments, and that cruel death, which Jesus 
Christ has suffered for thee: after so great and so many 
tokens of his love, thou canst no longer entertain a doubt 
that he loves thee, and loves thee exceedingly." And St. 
Bernard says, that "the cross and every wound of our 
Blessed Redeemer cry aloud to make us understand the 
love he bears us." 

In this grand mystery of man s redemption, we must 
consider how Jesus employed all his thoughts and zeal to 
discover every means of making himself loved by us. 
Had he merely wished to die for our salvation, it would 
have been sufficient had he been slain by Herod with the 
other children; but no, he chose before dying to lead, 
during thirty-three years, a life of hardship and suffer 
ing; and during that time, with a view to win our love, 
he appeared in several different guises. First of all, as a 
poor child born in a stable; then as a little boy helping 

1 "Testis crux, testes dolores, testis amara mors quam pro te sus- 
tinuit." Dom. 17 p. Pent. cone. 3. 

Introd. IV. Love of Jesus Christ. 297 

in the workshop; and finally, as a criminal executed on 
a cross. But before dying on the cross, we see him in 
many different states, one and all calculated to excite 
our compassion, and to make himself loved: in agony in 
the garden, bathed from head to foot in a sweat of blood; 
afterwards, in the court of Pilate, torn with scourges; 
then treated as a mock-king, with a reed in his hand, a 
ragged garment of purple on his shoulders, and a crown 
of thorns on his head; then dragged publicly through 
the streets to death, with the cross upon his shoulders; 
and at length, on the hill of Calvary, suspended on the 
cross by three iron nails. Tell me, does he merit our 
love or not, this God who has vouchsafed to endure 
all these torments, and to use so many means in order 
to captivate our love? Father John Rigouleux used to 
say: "I would spend my life in weeping for love of a 
God whose love induced him to die for the salvation of 

"Love is a great thing," 1 says St. Bernard. A great 
thing, a precious thing is love. Solomon, speaking of 
the divine wisdom, which is holy charity, called it an in 
finite treasure; because he that possesses charity is made 
partaker of the friendship of God: For she is an infinite 
treasure to men, which they that use become the friends of God? 

The angelic Doctor, St. Thomas, says, that charity is 
not only the queen of all virtues, but that, wherever she 
reigns, she draws along with her, as it were, in her train, 
all other virtues, and directs them all so as to bring us 
in closer union with God; but charity is properly that 
which unites us with God. As St. Bernard tells us: 
"Charity is a virtue uniting us with God." : And, in 
deed, it is over and over again signified in the holy 

1 " Magna res amor." In Cant. s. 83. 

" Infinitus enim thesaurus est hominibus, quo qui usi sunt, par- 
ticipesfacti sunt amicitire Dei." \Visd. vii. 14. 
3 " Charitas est virtus conjungens nos Deo." 

298 The Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

Scriptures, that God loves whoever loves him: I love them 
that love Me. 1 If any one loves me . . . My FatJicr will love 
Him ; and We will come to ////;/, and will make Our abode 
with him? He that abideth in charity abidctJi in God, and 
God in him * Behold the beautiful union which charity 
produces; it unites the soul to God. Moreover, love 
supplies strength to practise and to suffer everything for 
God : Love is strong as deatJi." St. Augustine writes: 
" Nothing is so hard that cannot be subdued by the fire 
of love." Wherefore the saint says, that where we 
love, either the labor is not felt, or if felt, the labor itself 
is loved: " In that which is loved, either there is no 
labor, or the labor is loved." 

Let us hear from St. John Chrysostom what are the 
effects of divine love in those souls in which it reigns : 
"When the love of God has taken possession of a soul, 
it produces an insatiable desire to work for the beloved; 
insomuch that however many and however vast the 
works which she does, and however prolonged the dura 
tion of her service, all seems nothing in her eyes, and she 
is afflicted at doing so little for God ; and were it per 
mitted her to die and consume herself for him, she would 
be most happy. Hence it is that she esteems herself an 
unprofitable servant in all that she does ; because she is 
instructed by love to know what God deserves, and sees 
by this clear light all the defects of her actions, and finds 
in them motives for confusion and pain, well aware how 
mean is all that she can do for so great a Lord." 

1 " Ego diligentes me diligo." Frov. viii. 17. 

* " Si quis diligit me, . . . Pater meus diliget eum, et ad eum veni- 
emus, et mansionem apud eum faciemus." John, xiv. 23. 

3 "Qui manet in charitate, in Deo manet, et Deus in eo." i John, 
iv. 16. 

4 " Fortis est tit mors dilectio." Cant. viii. 6. 

5 " Nihil tarn durum, quod amoris igne non vincatur." De Mor. 
EccL cat. c. 22. 

6 " In eo quod amatur, aut non laboratur, aut et labor amatur." De 
Bono vid. c. 21. 

Introd. IV. Love of Jesus Christ. 299 

"Oh! how those persons delude themselves," says St. 
Francis de Sales, " who place virtue in anything else 
but in loving God ! Some," writes the saint, "put per 
fection in austerities, .others in alms, others in prayer, 
others in frequenting the holy sacraments. For my part, 
I know of no other perfection than that of loving God 
with our whole heart; because all the other virtues, with., 
out love, are but a mere heap of stones. And if we do 
not perfectly enjoy this holy love, the fault lies with us, 
because we do not, once for all, come to the conclusion 
of giving up ourselves wholly to God." 

Our Lord said one day to St. Teresa, " Everything 
which does not give pleasure to me is vanity." Would 
that all understood well this great truth! For the res/, 
one thing is necessary? It is not necessary to be rich in 
this world, to gain the esteem of others, to lead a life of 
ease, to enjoy dignities, to have a reputation for learn 
ing ; it is only necessary to love God and to do his will. 
For this single end has he created us, for this he pre 
serves our life ; and thus only can we gain admittance 
into Paradise. Pitt me as a seal upon thy heart, as a seal upon 
thy arm? The Lord thus speaks to all his espoused souls. 
Put me as a seal upon thy heart and upon thine arm, in 
order that all thy desires and actions may tend to me; 
upon thy heart, that no other love but mine may enter 
there upon thine arm, in order that all thou dost may 
have me for its sole object. Oh, how quickly does that 
soul speed onwards to perfection, that in all its actions 
regards but Jesus crucified, and has no other pretension 
than to gratify him! 

To acquire, then, a true love of Jesus Christ should be 
our only care. The masters of spiritual life describe the 

1 Spirit, p. I, ch. 25. 

2 " Porro unum est necessarium." Luke, x. 42. 

" Pone me ut signaculum super cor tuum, ut signaculum super 
brachium tuum." Cant. viii. 6. 

300 The Practice of the Love of Jcsns Christ. 

marks of true love. Love, say they, is fearful, and its 
fear is none other than that of displeasing God. It is 
generous, because, trusting in God, it is never daunted 
even at the greatest enterprises for his glory, It is strong, 
because it subdues all its evil appetites, even in the midst 
of the most violent temptations, and of the darkest deso 
lations. It is obedient, because it immediately flies to exe 
cute the divine will. It is pure, because it loves God 
alone, and for the sole reason that he deserves to be 
loved. It is ardent, because it would inflame all man 
kind, and willingly see them consumed with divine love. 
It is inebriating, for it causes the soul to live as it were 
out of itself, as if it no longer saw, nor felt, nor had any 
more senses left for earthly things, bent wholly on loving 
God. It is unitive, by producing a strict union between 
the will of the creature and the will of the Creator. It is 
longing, for it fills the soul with desires of leaving this 
world, to fly and unite itself perfectly with God in its 
true and happy country, where it may love him with all 
its strength. 

But no one teaches us so well the real characteristics 
and practice of charity as the great preacher of charity, 
St. Paul. In his first epistle to the Corinthians, he says, 
in the first place, that without charity man is nothing, 
and that nothing profits him: If I should Jiave all faith, 
so that 7 could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am 
nothing, And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the 
poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not 
charity, it profiteth me nothing, 1 So that even should a per 
son have faith strong enough to remove mountains, like 
St. Gregory Thaumaturgus, but had not charity, it would 

1 " Et si habuero omnem fidem, ita ut montes transferam, chari- 
tatem autem non habuero, nihil sum. Et si distribuero in cibos 
pauperum omnes facilitates meas ; et si tradidero corpus meum, ita 
ut ardeam, charitatem autem non habuero, nihil mihi prodest." I 
Cor. xiii. 2, 3. 

Inlrod. IV. Love of Jesus Christ. 301 

profit him nothing. Should he give all his goods to the 
poor, and even willingly suffer martyrdom, but remain 
void of chanty, should he do it, that is, for any other 
end than that of pleasing God, it would profit him noth 
ing at all. Then St. Paul gives us the marks of true 
charity, and at the same time teaches us the practice of 
those virtues which are the daughters of charity; and he 
goes on to say : Charily is patient, is kind ; charity envieth 
not, dealeth not perversely; is not puffed up, is not ambitious; 
seeketh not her own; is not provoked to anger, thinketh no evil; 
rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth ; beareth 
all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all 

Let us therefore, in the present book, proceed to con 
sider these holy practices, that we may thus see if the 
love which we owe to Jesus Christ truly reigns within 
us; as likewise that we may understand in what virtues 
we should chiefly exercise ourselves, in order to perse 
vere and advance in this holy love. 

Affections and Prayers. 

most lovely and most loving Heart of Jesus, miserable is 
the heart which does not love Thee ! O God, for the love of 
men Thou didst die on the cross, helpless and forsaken, and how 
then can men live so forgetful of Thee? O love of God ! O 
ingratitude of man ! O men, O men ! do but cast one look on 
the innocent Son of God, agonizing on the cross, and dying for 
you, in order to satisfy the divine justice for your sins, and by 
this means to allure you to love him. Observe how, at the same 
time, he prays his eternal Father to forgive you. Behold him, 
and love him. Ah, my Jesus, how small is the number of those 
that love Thee ! Wretched too am I ; for I also have lived so 

1 ;i Charitas patiens eft, benigna est ; charitas non aemulatur, non 
agit perperam, non inflatur, non est ambitiosa, non quacrit quse sua 
sunt, non irritatur ; non cogitat malum, non gaudet super iniquitate, 
congaudet autem veritati; omnia suffert, omnia credit, omnia sperat, 
omnia sustinet." i Cor. xiii. 4-7. 

302 The Practice of the Love of Jesiis Christ. 

many years unmindful of Thee, and have grievously offended 
Thee, my beloved Redeemer! It is not so much the punish 
ment I have deserved that makes me weep, as the love which 
Thou hast borne me. O sorrows of Jesus! O ignominies of 
Jesus ! O wounds of Jesus ! O death of Jesus ! O love of Jesus ! 
rest deeply engraved in my heart, and may your sweet recollec 
tion be forever fixed there, to wound me and inflame me con 
tinually with love. I love Thee, my Jesus ; I love Thee, my 
sovereign good ; I love Thee, my love and my all ; I love Thee, 
and I will love Thee forever. Oh, suffer me never more to for 
sake Thee, never more to lose Thee ! Make me entirely Thine; 
do so by the merits of Thy death. In this I firmly trust. 

And I have a great confidence also in thy intercession, O 
Mary, my Queen ; make me love Jesus Christ and make me also 
love thee, my Mother and my hope ! 

"SI quis non amat Dominum nostrum Jesuni Christum, sit anatk- 

il If any man love not our Lord Jesus Christ, let him be anathema!" 
I Cor. xvi. 22. 

" Chart (as patiens est, benignaest; charitas non (Cinulatur, non agit 
perperam, non inflatur, non est ambitiosa, non qtuzrit qute sua sunt, non 
irritattir; non cogitat malwn, non gaudet super iniquitatc, congaudet 
atctem veritati; omnia suffert, ornnia credit, omnia sperat, omnia stisti- 
11 et" 

" Charity 5s patient, is kind ; charity envieth not, dealeth not per 
versely, is not puffed up, is not ambitious, seeketh not her own, is not 
provoked to anger; thinketh no evil, rejoiceth not in iniquity, but re- 
joiceth with the truth ; beareth all things, believeth all things, endureth 
all things." i Cor. xiii. 4-7. 

Practice of tljc ouc of Jfcsus Christ. 


(Charitas patiens est, i Cor. xiii. 4.) 

He that loves Jesus Christ loves Sufferings. 

THIS earth is the place for meriting, and therefore it is 
a place for suffering. Our true country, where God has 
prepared for us repose in everlasting joy, is paradise. 
We have but a short time to stay in this world; but in 
this short time we have many labors to undergo: Man 
born of a woman, living for a short time, is filled with many 
miseries. 1 We must suffer, and all must suffer; be they 
just, or be they sinners, each one must carry his cross. 
He that carries it with patience is saved; he that carries 
it with impatience is lost. St. Augustine says, the same 
miseries send some to paradise and some to hell: " One 
and the same blow lifts the good to glory, and reduces 
the bad to ashes. " 2 The same saint observes, that by the 
test of suffering the chaff in the Church of God is dis 
tinguished from the wheat : he that humbles himself 
under tribulations, and is resigned to the will of God, is 
wheat for paradise; he that grows haughty and is en 
raged, and so forsakes God, is chaff for hell. 

On the day when the cause of our salvation shall be 

"Homo natus de muliere, brevi vivens tempore, repletur multis 
miseriis." Job, xiv. i. 

" Una eademque tunsio bonos producit ad gloriam, malos redigit 
in favillam." Scrm. 52, E. B. app. 

306 Practice of the Love of Jesus CJirist. 

decided, our life must be found conformable to the life 
of Jesus Christ, if we would enjoy the happy sentence of 
the predestined: For whom He foreknew He also predesti 
nated to be made conformable to the image of His Son? This 
was the end for which the Eternal Word descended upon 
earth, to teach us, by his example, to carry with patience 
the cross which God sends us: Christ suffered for its (wrote 
St. Peter), leaving you an example, that you should follow His 
steps? So that Jesus Christ suffered on purpose to en 
courage us to suffer. O God ! what a life was that of 
Jesus Christ ! A life of ignominy and pain. The Prophet 
calls our Redeemer despised, and the most abject of men, a 
man of sorrows? A man held in contempt, and treated as 
the lowest, the vilest among men, a man of sorrows; yes, 
for the life of Jesus Christ was made up of hardships and 

Now, in the same manner as God has treated his be 
loved Son, so does he treat every one whom he loves, 
and whom he receives for his son: For whom the Lord loveth 
He chastiseth; and He scourge th every son whom He receiveth? 
For this reason he one day said to St. Teresa: " Know 
that the souls dearest to my Father are those who are 
afflicted with the greatest sufferings." Hence the saint 
said of all her troubles, that she would not exchange 
them for all the treasures in the world. She appeared 
after her death to a soul, and revealed to her that she 
enjoyed an immense reward in heaven, not so much for 
her good works, as for the sufferings which she cheer 
fully bore in this life for the love of God; and that if she 

1 " Nam quos prsescivit, et praedestinavit conformes fieri imaginis 
Filii sui." Rom. viii. 29. 

2 " Christus passus est pro nobis, vobis relinquens exemplum x ut 
sequamini vestigia ejus." I Pet. ii. 21. 

3 " Despectum et novissimum virorum." Isa. liii. 3. 

4 "Quern enim diligit Dominus, castigat; flagellat autem omnem 
filium quern recipit." Heb. xii. 6. 

5 Life, addit. 

CHAP, i.i Patience. 307 

could possibly entertain a wish to return upon earth, the 
only reason would be in order that she might suffer more 
for God, 

He that loves God in suffering earns a double reward 
in paradise. St. Vincent of Paul 1 said that it was a 
great misfortune to be free from suffering in this life. 
And he added, that a congregation or an individual that 
does not suffer, and is applauded by all the world, is not 
far from a fall. It was on this account that St. Francis 
of Assisi, on the day that he had suffered nothing for 
God, became afraid lest God had forgotten him. St. John 
Chrysostom 2 says, that when God endows a man with 
the grace of suffering, he gives him a greater grace than 
that of raising the dead to life; because in performing 
miracles man remains God s debtor; whereas in suffer 
ing, God makes himself the debtor of man. And he 
adds, 3 that whoever endures something for God, even 
had he no other gift than the strength to suffer for the 
God whom he loves, this would procure for him an im 
mense reward. Wherefore he affirmed, that he considered 
St. Paul to have received a greater grace in being bound 
in chains for Jesus Christ, than in being rapt to the third 
heaven in ecstasy. 

But patience has a perfect work? The meaning of this 
is, that nothing is more pleasing to God than to see a 
soul suffering with patience all the crosses sent her by 
him. The effect of love is to liken the lover to the per 
son loved. St. Francis de Sales said, " All the wounds 
of Christ are so many mouths, which preach to us that 
we must suffer for him. The science of the saints is to 
suffer constantly for Jesus; and in this way we shall soon 
become saints." A person that loves Jesus Christ is 
anxious to be treated like Jesus Christ, poor, persecuted, 
and despised. St. John beheld all the saints clothed in 

1 Abclly, 1. 3, c. 43. - In Phil. horn. 4. 3 /;/ Eph. horn. 8. 

" Patientia autem opus perfectum habet." James, i. 4. 

308 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

white, and with palms in their hands: Clothed with white 
robes, and palms in their Jiands? The palm is the symbol 
of martyrs, and yet all the saints did not suffer martyr 
dom; why, then, do all the saints bear palms in their 
hands ? St. Gregory replies, that all the saints have been 
martyrs either of the sword or of patience; so that, he 
adds, "we can be martyrs without the sword, if we keep 
patience." 2 

The merit of a soul that loves Jesus Christ consists in 
loving and in suffering. Hear what our Lord said to 
St. Teresa: "Think you, my child, that merit consists 
in enjoyment ? N.o, it consists in suffering and in loving. 
Look at my life, wholly embittered with afflictions. Be 
assured, my child, that the more my Father loves any 
one, the more sufferings he sends him; they are the 
standard of his love. Look at my wounds; your tor 
ments will never reach so far. It is absurd to suppose 
that my Father favors with his friendship those who are 
strangers to suffering." : And for our consolation St. 
Teresa makes this remark: "God never sends a trial, but 
he forthwith rewards it with some favor." One day 
Jesus Christ appeared to the blessed Baptista Varani, 5 
and told her of three special favors which he is wont to 
bestow on cherished souls: the first is, not to sin; the 
second, which is greater, to perform good works; the 
third, and the greatest of all, to suffer for his love. So 
that St. Teresa used to say, whenever any one does 
something for God, the Almighty repays him with some 
trial And therefore the saints, on receiving tribulations, 

1 " Amicti stolis albis, et palmae in manibus eorum." Apoc. vii. 9. 

2 " Nos sine ferro esse possumus martyres, si patientiam veraciter 
in animo custodimus." In Evang. horn. 35. 

3 Life, addit. 

4 Life, ch. 30. 

5 Boll. 31 Mali. Vit. c. 7. 

6 Found, ch. 31. 

CHAP, i.] Patience. 309 

thanked God for them. St. Louis of France, referring to 
his captivity in Turkey, said: " I rejoice, and thank God 
more for the patience which he accorded me in the time 
of my imprisonment, than if he had made me master of 
the universe." And when St. Elizabeth, princess of 
Thuringia, after her husband s death, was banished with 
her son from the kingdom, and found herself homeless 
and abandoned by all, she went to a convent of the 
Franciscans, and there had the Te Deum sung in thanks 
giving to God for tiie signal favor of being allowed to 
suffer for his love. 

St. Joseph Calasanctius used to say, " All suffering is 
slight to gain heaven." And the Apostle had already 
said the same: The sufferings of this time are not worthy to 
be compared with the glory to come, that shall be revealed in 
us. 1 

It would be a great gain for us to endure all the tor 
ments of all the martyrs during our whole lives, in order 
to enjoy one single moment of the bliss of paradise; with 
what readiness, then, should we embrace our crosses, 
when we know that the sufferings of this transitory life 
will gain for us an everlasting beatitude ! That which is 
at present momentary and light of our tribulation, workcth for 
us above measure exceedingly an eternal weight of glory.* St. 
Agapitus, while still a mere boy in years, was threatened 
by the tyrant to have his head covered with a red-hot hel 
met; on which he replied, " And what better fortune could 
possibly befall me, than to lose my head here, to have it 
crowned hereafter in heaven ?" This made St. Francis 
exclaim : 

" I look for such a meed of bliss, 
That all my pains seem happiness." 

" Non sunt condignae passiones hujus temporis ad futuram gloriam 
quae revelabitur in nobis." Rom. viii. 18. 

" Momentaneum et leve tribulationis nostrae supra modum in 
sublimitate aetcrnum gloriae pondus operatur in nobis." 2 Cor. iv. 17. 

310 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

But whoever desires the crown of paradise must needs 
combat and suffer: If we suffer, we shall also reign. 1 We 
cannot get a reward without merit; and no merit is to 
be had without patience: He is not crowned, except he strive 
lawfully? And the person that strives with the greatest 
patience shall have the greatest reward. Wonderful in 
deed ! When the temporal goods of this world are in 
question, worldlings endeavor to procure as much as 
they can; but when it is a question of the goods of eter 
nal life, they say, " It is enough if we get a little corner 
in heaven !" Such is not the language of the saints: 
they are satisfied with anything whatever in this life, 
nay more, they strip themselves of all earthly goods; 
but concerning eternal goods, they strive to obtain 
them in as large a measure as possible. I would ask 
which of the two act with more wigdom and pru 
dence ? 

But even with regard to the present life, it is certain 
that he who suffers with most patience enjoys the greatest 
peace. It was a saying of St. Philip Neri, 3 that in this 
world there is no purgatory; it is either all paradise or 
all hell: he that patiently supports tribulations enjoys a 
paradise; he that does not do so, suffers a hell. Yes, for 
(as St. Teresa writes) he that embraces the crosses sent 
him by God feels them not. St. Francis de Sales, finding 
himself on one occasion beset on every side with tribula 
tions, said, "For some time back the severe oppositions 
and secret contrarieties which have befallen me afford 
me so sweet a peace, that nothing can equal it; and they 
give me such an assurance that my soul will ere long be 
firmly united with God, that I can say with all truth that 
they are the sole ambition, the sole desire of my heart. " 

1 " Si sustinebimus, et conregnabimus." 2 Tim. ii. 12. 

2 "Qui certat in agone, non coronatur, nisi legitime certaverit." 
2 Tim. ii. 5. 

3 Bacci, 1. 2, ch. 20. 

4 Spirit, ch. 19. 

CHAP, i.] Patience. 3 1 1 

And indeed peace can never be found by one who leads 
an irregular life, but only by him who lives in union with 
God and with his blessed will. A certain missionary of 
a religious Order, while in the Indies, was one day stand 
ing to witness the execution of a person under sentence 
of death, and already on the scaffold: the criminal called 
the missionary to him, and said, " You must know, Father, 
that I was once a member of your Order; whilst I ob 
served the rules I led a very happy life; but when, after 
wards, I began to relax in the strict observance of them, 
I immediately experienced pain in everything; so much 
so, that I abandoned the religious life, and gave myself 
up to vice, which has finally reduced me to the melan 
choly pass in which you at present behold me." And in 
conclusion he said, "I tell you this, that my example 
may be a warning to others." The Venerable Father 
Louis da Ponte said, " Take the sweet things of this life 
for bitter, and the bitter for sweet; and so you will be 
in the constant enjoyment of peace. Yes, for though the 
sweet are pleasant to sense, they invariably leave behind 
them the bitterness of remorse of conscience, on account 
of the imperfect satisfaction which, for the most part, 
they afford; but the bitter, when taken with patience from 
the hand of God, become sweet, and dear to the souls 
who love him." 

Let us be convinced that in this valley of tears true 
peace of heart cannot be found, except by him who en 
dures and lovingly embraces sufferings to please Al 
mighty God: this is the consequence of that corruption 
in which all are placed through the infection of sin. The 
condition of the saints on earth is to suffer and to love; 
the condition of the saints in heaven is to enjoy and to 
love. Father Paul Segneri the younger, in a letter 
which he wrote one of his penitents to encourage her to 
suffer, gave her the counsel to keep these words inscribed 
at the foot of her crucifix: " Tis thus one loves." It is 

3 1 2 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

not simply by suffering, but by desiring to suffer for the 
love of Jesus Christ, that a soul gives the surest signs of 
really loving him. And what greater acquisition (said 
St. Teresa) can we possibly make than to have some token 
of gratifying Almighty God ? J Alas, how ready are the 
greatest part of men to take alarm at the bare mention 
of crosses, of humiliations, and of afflictions ! Neverthe 
less, there are many souls who find all their delight in 
suffering, ancl who would be quite disconsolate did they 
pass their time on this earth without suffering. The 
sight of Jesus crucified (said a devout person) renders 
the cross so lovely to me, that it seems to me I could 
never be happy without suffering; the love of Jesus Christ 
is sufficient for me for all. Listen how Jesus advises every 
one who would follow him to take up and carry his cross: 
Let him take up his cross, and follow Me? But we must 
take it up and carry it, not by constraint and against our 
will, but with humility, patience, and love. 

Oh, how acceptable to God is he that humbly and 
patiently embraces the crosses which he sends him! St. 
Ignatius of Loyola said, " There is no wood so apt to 
enkindle and maintain love towards God as the wood of 
the cross ;" that is, to love him in the midst of sufferings. 
One day St. Gertrude asked our Lord what she could 
offer him most acceptable, and he replied, "My child, 
thou canst do nothing more gratifying- to me than to 
submit patiently to all the tribulations that befall thee." 
Wherefore the great servant of God, Sister Victoria 
Angelini, affirmed that one day of crucifixion was worth 
a hundred years of all other spiritual exercises. And the 
Venerable Father John of Avila said, " One blessed be 
God in contrarieties is worth more than a thousand 
thanksgivings in prosperity." Alas, how little men know 
of the inestimable value of afflictions endured for God ! 

1 Life, ch. 10. 

2 " Tollat crucem suam quotidie, ct sequatur me." Luke, ix. 23. 

CHAP, i.] Patience. 313 

The Blessed Angela of Foligno said, " that if we knew 
the just value of suffering for God, it would become an 
object of plunder;" which is as much as to say, that each 
one would seek an opportunity of robbing his neighbor 
of the occasions of suffering. For this reason St. Mary 
Magdalene of Pazzi, well aware as she was of the merit 
of sufferings, sighed to have her life prolonged rather 
than to die and go to Heaven, " because," said she, " in 
Heaven one can suffer no more." 

A soul that loves God has no other end in view but to 
be wholly united with him ; but let us learn from St. 
Catharine of Genoa what is necessary to be done to 
arrive at this perfect union: " To attain union with 
God, adversities are indispensable ; because by them 
God aims at destroying all our corrupt propensities 
within and without. And hence all injuries, contempts, 
infirmities, abandonment of relatives and friends, con 
fusions, temptations, and other mortifications, all are in 
the highest degree necessary for us, in order that we may 
carry on the fight, until by repeated victories we come 
to extinguish within us all vicious movements, so that 
they are no longer felt ; and we shall never arrive at 
divine union until adversities, instead of seeming bitter 
to us, become all sweet for God s sake." 

It follows, then, that a soul that sincerely desires to 
belong to God must be resolved, as St. John of the 
Cross l writes, not to seek enjoyments in this life, but to 
suffer in all things ; she must embrace with eagerness 
all voluntary mortifications, and with still greater eager 
ness those which are involuntary, since they are the more 
welcome to Almighty God. 

The patient man is better than the valiant? God is pleased 
with a person who practi&es mortification by fasting, 
hair-cloths, and disciplines, on account of the courage 

1 Mont, du C. \. 2, ch. 7. 

- " Melior est patiens viro ford." Pnn>. xvi. 32. 

3 H Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

displayed in such mortifications ; but he is much more 
pleased with those who have the courage to bear pa 
tiently and gladly such crosses as come from his own 
divine hand. St. Francis de Sales said, " Such mortifica 
tions as come to us from the hand of God, or from men 
by his permission, are always more precious than those 
which are the offspring of our own will ; for it is a gen 
eral rule, that wherever there is less of our own choice, 
God is better pleased, and we ourselves derive greater 
profit." 3 St. Teresa taught the same thing: " We gain 
more in one day by the oppositions which come to us 
from God or our neighbor than by ten years of mortifi 
cations of self-infliction." 2 Wherefore St. Mary Magda 
lene of Pazzi made the generous declaration, that there 
could not be found in the whole world an affliction so 
severe, but what she would gladly bear with the thought 
that it came from God ; and, in fact, during the five years 
of severe trial which the saint underwent, it was enough 
to restore peace to her soul to remember that it was by 
the will of God that she so suffered. Ah, God, that in 
finite treasure is cheaply purchased at any cost! Father 
Hippolytus Durazzo used to say, " Purchase God at what 
cost you will, he can never be dear." 

Let us then beseech God to make us worthy of his 
love ; for if we did but once perfectly love him, all the 
goods of this earth would seem to us but as smoke and 
dirt, and we should relish ignominies and afflictions as 
delights. Let us hear what St. John Chrysostom says of 
a soul wholly given up to Almighty God: " He who has 
attained the perfect love of God seems to be alone on 
the earth, he no longer cares either for glory or igno 
miny, he scorns temptations and afflictions, he loses 
all relish and appetite for created things. And as noth 
ing in this world brings him any support or repose, he 

Spirit, ch. 4. 2 Way of Perf. ch. 37. 

CHAP, i.] Patience. 3 1 5 

goes incessantly in search of his beloved without ever 
feeling wearied; so that when he toils, when he eats, 
when he is watching, or when sleeping, in every action 
and word, all his thoughts and desires are fixed upon 
finding his beloved; because his heart is where his treas 
ure is." * 

Affections and Prayers. 

My dear and beloved Jesus, my treasure, I have deserved by 
my offences never more to be allowed to love Thee ; but by Thy 
merits, I entreat Thee, make me worthy of Thy pure love. 1 
love Thee above all things ; and I repent with my whole heart, 
of having ever despised Thee, and driven Thee from my soul ; 
but now I love Thee more than myself ; I love Thee with all my 
heart, O infinite good ! I love Thee, I love Thee, I love Thee, 
and I have not a wish besides that of loving Thee perfectly; nor 
have I a fear besides that of ever seeing myself deprived of Thy 
love. O my most loving Redeemer, enable me to know how 
great a good Thou art, and how great is the love Thou hast 
borne me in order to oblige me to love Thee ! Ah, my God, 
suffer me not to live any longer unmindful of so much good 
ness ! Enough have I offended Thee, I will never leave Thee 
again ; I wish to employ all the remainder of my days in loving 
Thee, and in pleasing Thee. My Jesus, my Love, lend me 
Thine aid ; help a sinner who wishes to love Thee and to be 
wholly Thine own. 

O Mary my hope, thy Son hears thee ; pray to him in my 
behalf, and obtain for me the grace of loving him perfectly ! 

* In this chapter we have spoken of patience in general ; in Chapter 
X. we shall treat more particularly of occasions in which we have 
especially to practise patience. 

3 1 6 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 



(Charitas bcnigna est.} 

He that loves Jesus Christ loves Meekness. 

THE spirit of meekness is peculiar to God: My spirit is 
sweet above honey, 1 Hence it is that a soul that loves God 
loves also all those whom God loves, namely, her neigh 
bors; so that she eagerly seeks every occasion of helping 
all, of consoling all, and of making all happy as far as 
she can. St. Francis de Sales, who was the master and 
model of holy meekness, says, " Humble meekness is the 
virtue of virtues, which God has so much recommended 
to us; therefore we should endeavor to practise it always 
and in all things." 2 Hence the saint gives us this rule: 
" What you see can be done with love, do it ; and what 
you see cannot be done without offence, leave it un 
done." 3 He means, when it can be omitted without 
offending God; because an offence of God must always, 
and as quickly as possible, be prevented by him who is 
bound to prevent it. 

This meekness should be particularly observed 
towards the poor, who, by reason of their poverty, are 
often harshly treated by men. It should likewise be 
especially practised towards the sick who are suffering 
under infirmities, and for the most part meet with small 
help from others. Meekness is more especially to be 
observed in our behavior towards enemies: Overcome evil 
with good * Hatred must be overcome by love, and per- 

1 " Spiritus enim meus super mel dulcis." Ecclus. xxiv. 27. 

2 Lettre 853. 

3 Lettre 786. 

4 " Vince in bono malum." Rom. xii. 21. 

CHAP, ii.] Meekness. 3 1 7 

secution by meekness; thus the saints acted, ai d so they 
conciliated the affections of their most exasperated 

"There is nothing," says St. Francis de Sales, "that 
gives so much edification to our neighbor as meekness 
of behavior." 1 The saint, therefore, was generally seen 
smiling, and with a countenance beaming with charity, 
which gave a tone to all his words and actions. This 
gave occasion to St. Vincent of Paul 2 to declare that he 
never knew a kinder man in his life. He said further, 
that it seemed to him that in his lordship of Sales was a 
true likeness of Jesus Christ. Even in refusing what he 
could not in conscience comply with, he did so with such 
sweetness, that all, though unsuccessful in their requests, 
went away satisfied and well-disposed towards him. He 
was gentle towards all, towards Superiors, towards 
equals and inferiors, at home and abroad; in contrast 
with some, who, as the saint used to say, "seemed angels 
abroad, but were devils at home." 3 Moreover, the saint, 
in his conduct towards servants, never complained of 
their remissness; at most he would give them an admo 
nition, but always in the gentlest terms. And this is a 
thing most praiseworthy in Superiors. 

The Superior should use all kindness towards those 
under him. When telling them what they have to do, 
he should rather request than command. St. Vincent of 
Paul said: "A Superior will never find a better means of 
being readily obeyed than meekness." And to the same 
effect was the saying of St. Jane Frances of Chantal: " I 
have tried various methods of governing, but I have not 
found any better than that of meekness and forbear 
ance." 4 

And more than this, the Superior should be kind even 
in the correction of faults. It is one thing to correct 

Q$. l A belly, \. 3, ch. 27, 3 Introd, ch. 3. 

i. tie la M. de Chaugy, p. 3, ch. 19. 

318 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

with firmness, and another with harshness; it is needful 
at times to correct with firmness, when .the fault is seri 
ous, and especially if it be repeated after the subject has 
already been admonished of it; but let us always be on 
our guard against harsh and angry correction; he that 
corrects with anger does more harm than good. This is 
that bitter zeal reproved by St. James. Some make a 
boast of keeping their family in order by severity, and 
they say it is the only successful method of treatment ; 
but St. James speaks not so: But if you have bitter zeal 
.... glory not? If on some rare occasion it be neces 
sary to speak a cross word, in order to bring the offender 
to a proper sense of his fault, yet in the end we ought 
invariably to leave him with a gentle countenance and a 
word of kindness. Wounds must be healed after the 
fashion of the good Samaritan in the Gospel, with wine 
and oil: "But as oil," said St. Francis de Sales, "always 
swims on the surface of all other liquors, so must meek 
ness prevail over all our actions." And when it occurs 
that the person under correction is agitated, then the 
reprehension must be deferred till his anger has sub 
sided, or else we should only increase his indignation. 
The Canon Regular St. John said: "When the house is 
on fire, one must not cast wood into the flames. * 

You know not of what spirit you are." 1 Such were the 
words of Jesus Christ to his disciples James and John, 
when they would have brought down chastisements on 
the Samaritans for expelling them from their country. 
Ah, said the Lord to them, and what spirit is this? this 
is not my spirit, which is sweet and gentle; for I am 
come not to destroy but to save souls: The Son of Man 
came not to destroy souls, but to save? And would you in- 

1 " Quod si zelum amarum habetis, . . . nolite gloriari." James, 
iii. 14. 

2 " Nescitis cujus spiritus estis." Luke, ix. 55. 

3 " Filius hominis non venit animas perdere, sed salvare. 
*- 56. 

CHAP, ii.] Meekness. 319 

duce me to destroy them? Oh, hush ! and never make 
the like request to me, for such is not according to my 
spirit. And, in fact, with what meekness did Jesus 
Christ treat the adulteress ! Woman, said He, hath no 
man condemned thce ? Neither will I condemn thee ! Go, and 
now sin no more? He was satisfied with merely warning 
her not to sin again, and sent her away in peace. With 
what meekness, again, did he seek the conversion of the 
Samaritan woman, and so, in fact, converted her ! He 
first asked her to give him to drink; then he said to her: 
If thou didst know who He is that saith to thee, Give me to 
drink! and then he revealed to her that he was the ex 
pected Messiah. And, again, with what meekness did 
he strive to convert the impious Judas, admitting him to 
eat of the same dish with him, washing his feet and ad 
monishing him in the very act of his betrayal: Judas, and 
dost thou thus betray me with a kiss ? Judas, dost thou betray 
the Son of -Man with a kiss ? 2 And see how he converted 
Peter after his denial of him ! And the Lord turning, 
looked on Peter? On leaving the house of the high-priest, 
without making him a single reproach, he cast on him a 
look of tenderness, and thus converted him; and so ef 
fectually did he convert him, that during his whole life 
long Peter never ceased to bewail the injury he had 
done to his Master. 

Oh, how much more is to be gained by meekness than 
by harshness ! St. Francis de Sales said there was noth 
ing more bitter than the bitter almond, but if made into 
a preserve, it becomes sweet and agreeable: thus correc 
tions, though in their nature very unpleasant, are ren 
dered pleasant by love and meekness, and so are attended 
with more beneficial results. St. Vincent of Paul said 

" Mulier, . . . nemo te condemnavit ? . . . Nee ego te condem- 
nabo. Vade, et jam amplius noli peccare." John, viii. 10, n. 
4 " Juda ! osculo Filium hominis tradis?" Luke, xxii. 48. 
3 " Conversus Dominus respexit Petrum." Luke, xxii. 61. 

320 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

of himself, that in the government of his own congrega 
tion he had never corrected any one with severity, except 
on three occasions, when he supposed there was reason 
to do so, but that he regretted it ever afterwards, because 
he found it turned out badly; whereas he had always ad 
mirably succeeded by gentle correction. 1 

St. Francis de Sales obtained from others whatever he 
wished by his meek behavior; and by this means he 
managed to gain the most hardened sinners to God. It 
was the same with St. Vincent of Paul, who taught his 
disciples this maxim : " Affability, love, and humility have 
a wonderful efficacy in winning the hearts of men, and 
in prevailing on them to undertake things most repug 
nant to nature." He once gave a great sinner to the care 
of one of his Fathers, to bring him to sentiments of true 
repentance; but that Father, in spite of all his endeavors, 
found his labor fruitless, so that he begged the saint to 
speak a word to him. The saint accordingly spoke with 
him, and converted him. That sinner subsequently de 
clared that the singular sweetness of Father Vincent had 
worked upon his heart. Wherefore it was that the saint 
could not bear his missionaries to treat sinners with 
severity; and he told them that the infernal spirit took 
advantage of the strictness of some to work the greater 
ruin of souls. 

Kindness should be observed towards all on all occa 
sions and at all times. St. Bernard remarks, 2 that cer 
tain persons are gentle as long as things fall out to their 
taste; but scarcely do they experience some opposition 
or contradiction than they are instantly on fire, like 
Mount Vesuvius itself. Such as these may be called 
burning coals, but hidden under the embers. Whoever 
would become a saint, must, during this life, resemble 
the lily among thorns, which, however much it may be 

1 Abelly, 1. 3, ch. 27. * In Adv. D. s. 4. 

CHAP, n.j Meekness. 321 

pricked by them, never ceases to be a lily; that is, it is 
always equally sweet and serene. The soul that loves 
God maintains an imperturbable peace of heart; andshe 
shows this in her very countenance, being ever mistress 
of herself, alike in prosperity and adversity, according to 
the lines of Cardinal Petrucci: 

" Of outward things he views the varying guise, 

While in his soul s most inmost depth 
Undimmed God s image lies." 

Adversity brings out a person s real character. St. 
Francis de Sales very tenderly loved the Order of the 
Visitation, which had cost him so much labor. He saw 
it several times in imminent danger of dissolution on 
account of the persecutions it underwent; but the saint 
never for a moment lost his peace, and was ready, if such 
was the will of God, to see it entirely destroyed; and 
then it was that he said: "For some time back the 
trying oppositions and secret contrarieties which have 
befallen me afford me so sweet a peace, that nothing 
can equal it; and they give me such an earnest of the 
immediate union of my soul with God, that, in truth, 
they form the sole desire of my heart." 

Whenever it happens that we have to reply to some 
one who insults us, let us be careful to answer with 
meekness: A mild answer breaketh wrath* A mild reply 
is enough to quench every spark of anger. And in case 
we feel irritated, it is best to keep silence, because then 
it seems only just to give vent to all that rises to our 
lips; but when our passion has subsided, we shall see 
that all our words were full of faults. 

And when it happens that we ourselves commit some 
fault, we must also practise meekness in our own regard. 
To be exasperated at ourselves after a fault is not humil 
ity, but a subtle pride, as if we were anything else than 

1 Spirit, ch. 10. 

2 " Responsio mollis frangit iram." Prov. xv. \. 

322 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

the weak and miserable tilings that we are. St. Teresa 
said: " The humility that disturbs does not come from 
God, but from the devil." To be angry at ourselves after 
the commission of a fault is a fault worse than the one 
committed, and will be the occasion of many other faults; 
it will make us leave off our devotions, prayers, and com 
munions ; or if we do practise them, they will be done 
very badly. St. Aloysius Gonzaga said that we cannot 
see in troubled waters, and that the devil fishes in them. 
A soul that is troubled knows little of God and of what 
it ought to do. Whenever, therefore, we fall into any 
fault, we should turn to God with humility and confi 
dence, and craving his forgiveness, say to him, with St. 
Catharine of Genoa: " O Lord, this is the produce of 
my own garden ! I love Thee with my whole heart, and 
I repent of the displeasure I have given Thee ! I will 
never do the like again: grant me Thy assistance!" 

Affections and Prayers. 

O blessed chains that bind the soul with God, oh, enfold me 
still closer, and in links so firm that I may never be able to 
loosen myself from the love of my God ! My Jesus, I love Thee ; 
O treasure, O life of my soul, to Thee I cling, and I give myself 
wholly unto Thee ! No, indeed, my beloved Lord, I wish never 
more to cease to love Thee. Thou who, to atone for my sins, 
didst allow Thyself to be bound as a criminal, and so bound to 
be led to death through the streets of Jerusalem, Thou who 
didst consent to be nailed to the cross, and didst not leave it 
until life itself had left Thee, oh, suffer me never to be separated 
from Thee again ; I regret above every other evil, to have at one 
time turned my back upon Thee, and henceforth I purpose by 
Thy grace to die rather than to give Thee the slightest dis 
pleasure. O my Jesus, I abandon myself to Thee. I love Thee 
with my whole heart ; I love Thee more than myself. I have 
offended Thee in times past; but now I bitterly repent of it, and 
J would willingly die of grief. Oh, draw me entirely to Thyself ! 

1 Life, ch 30. 

CHAP, in.] Purity of Intention. 323 

I renounce all sensible consolations ; I wish for Thee alone, and 
nothing more. Make me love Thee, and then do with me what 
Thou wilt. 

O Mary, my hope, bind me to Jesus ; and grant me to live and 
die in union with him, in order to come one day to the happy 
kingdom, where I shall have no more fear of ever being sepa 
rated from his love! 


(Charitas non (Zinulatur.) 

The Soul that loves Jesus Christ does not envy the Great Ones 
of this World, but only those who are Greater Lovers of 
Jesus Christ. 

ST. GREGORY explains this next characteristic of char 
ity in saying, that as charity despises all earthly great 
ness, it cannot possibly provoke her envy. " She envieth 
not, because, as she desireth nothing in this world, she 
cannot envy earthly prosperity." 

Hence we must distinguish two kinds of envy, one 
evil and the other holy. The evil kind is that which 
envies and repines at the worldly goods possessed by 
others on this earth. But holy envy, so far from wish 
ing to be like, rather compassionates the great ones of 
the world, who live in the midst of honors and earthly 
pleasures. She seeks and desires God alone, and has no 
other aim besides that of loving him as much as she can; 
and therefore she has a pious envy of those who love him 
more than she does, for she would, if possible, surpass 
the very seraphim in loving him. 

This is the sole end which pious souls have in view on 

" Non aemulatur; quia, per hoc quod in praesenti mundo nihil 
appetit, invidere terrenis successibus nescit. " Mor. 1. 10, c. 8. 

324 Practice of the Love of Jcsns Christ. 

earth an end which so charms and ravishes the heart 
of God with love, that it causes him to say: Thou hast 
wounded My heart, My sister; My spouse, thou hast wounded 
My heart with one of thy eyes. 1 By " one of thy eyes " is 
meant that one end which the espoused soul lias in all 
her devotions and thoughts, namely, to please Almighty 
God. Men of the world look on things with many eyes, 
that is, have several inordinate views in their actions; 
as, for instance, to please others, to become honored, to 
obtain riches, and if nothing else, at least to please them 
selves ; but the saints have but a single eye, with which 
they keep in view, in all that they do, the sole pleasure 
of God; and with David they say: What have J in heaven, 
and besides Thee what do I desire upon earth ? 2 What do I 
wish, O my God, in this world or in the next, save Thee 
alone ? Thou art my riches, Thou art the only Lord of 
my heart. "Let the rich," said St. Paulinus, " enjoy 
their riches, let the kings enjoy their kingdoms, Thou, 
O Christ, art my treasure and my kingdom!" 3 

And here we must remark, that we must not only per 
form good works, but we must perform them well. In 
order that our works may be good and perfect, they 
must be done with the sole end of pleasing God. This 
was the admirable praise bestowed on Jesus Christ : He 
hath done all things well? Many actions may in them 
selves be praiseworthy, but from being performed for 
some other purpose than for the glory of God, they are 
often of little or no value in his sight. St. Mary Mag 
dalene of Pazzi said, " God rewards our actions by the 

1 " Vulnerasti cor meum, soror mea Sponsa, vulnerasti cor meum 
in uno oculorum tuorum." Cant. iv. 9. 

2 " Quid enim mihi est in ccelo ? et a te quid volui super terram ? . . . 
Deus cordis mei, et pars mea, Deus, in eeternum." Ps. Ixxii. 25, 26. 

3 " Sibi habeant divitias suas divites, sibi regna sua reges ; nobis 
gloria, et possessio, et regnum, Christus est." Ep. ad Apruin, 

4 " Bene omnia fecit." Mark, vii. 37. 

CHAP, in.] Purity of Intention. 325 

weight of pure intention." As much as to say, that ac 
cording as our intention is pure, so does the Lord accept 
of and reward our actions. But, O God, how difficult it 
is to find an action done solely for Thee ! I remember 
a holy old man, a religious, who had labored much in the 
service of God, and died in the reputation of sanctity ; 
now one day, as he cast a glance back at his past life, he 
said to me in a tone of sadness and fear, "Wo is me ! 
when I consider all the actions of my past life, I do not 
find one done entirely for God." Oh, this accursed self- 
love, that makes us lose all or the greater part of the 
fruit of our good actions ! How many in their most 
holy employments, as of preaching, hearing confessions, 
giving missions, labor and exert themselves very much, 
and gain little or nothing because they do not regard 
God alone, but worldly honor, or self-interest, or the 
vanity of making an appearance, or at least their own 

Our Lord has said, Take heed that yon do not your justice 
before men, to be seen by them; otherwise you shall not Jiave a 
reward of your Father who is in heaven? He that works 
for his own gratification already receives his wages: 
Amen I say to you, they have received their reward* But a 
reward, indeed, which dwindles into a little smoke, or the 
pleasure of a day that quickly vanishes, and confers no 
benefit on the soul. The Prophet Aggeus says, that 
whoever labors for anything else than to please God, 
puts his reward in a sack full of holes, which, when he 
comes to open, he finds entirely empty: And he that hatJi 
earned wages, put them into a bag with holes." And hence it 

1 Puce. p. i, ch. 58. 

2 " Attendite ne justitiam vestram faciatis coram hominibus, ut 
videamini ab eis ; alioquin mercedem non habebitis apud Patrem 
vestrum qui in coelis est." Matt. vi. i. 

" Amen, dico vobis, receperunt mercedem suam." Matt. vi. 5. 

4 " Et qui mercedes congregavit, misit eas in sacculum pertusum. 
Agg. i. 6. 

326 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

is that such persons, in the event of their not gaining the 
object for which they entered on some undertaking, are 
thrown into great trouble. This is a sign that they had 
not in view the glory of God alone. He that undertakes 
a thing solely for the glory of God, is not troubled at all, 
though his undertaking may fail of success; for, in truth, 
by working with a pure intention, he has already gained 
his object, which was to please Almighty God. 

The following are the signs which indicate whether we 
work solely for God in any spiritual undertaking, i. If 
we are not disturbed at the failure of our plans, because 
when we see it is not God s will, neither is it any longer 
our will. 2. If we rejoice at the good done by others, as 
heartily as if we ourselves had done it. 3. If we have no 
preference for one charge more than for another, but will 
ingly accept that which obedience to Superiors enjoins 
us. 4. If after our actions we do not seek the thanks or 
approbation of others, nor are in any way affected if we 
be found fault with or scolded, being satisfied with hav 
ing pleased God. And if when the world applauds us 
we are not puffed up, but meet the vain glory, which 
might make, itself felt, with the reply of the venerable 
John of Avila : " Get away, thou comest too late, for all 
has been already given to God." 

This is to enter into the joy of the Lord; that is, to 
enjoy the enjoyment of God, as is promised to his faith 
ful servants: Well done, thou good and faithful servant; 
because thou hast been faithful over a few things, .... enter 
thou into the joy of thy Lord. 1 And if it falls to our lot to 
do something pleasing to God, what more, asks St. John 
Chrysostom, can we desire ? " If thou art found worthy 
to perform something that pleases God, dost thou seek 
other recompense than this ?" 2 The greatest reward, the 

1 " Euge, serve bone et fidelis : quia super pauca fuisti fidelis, super 
multa te constituam ; intra in gaudium Domini tui." Matt. xxv. 21. 

a " Si dignus fueris agere aliquid quod Deo placet, aliam, prater 
id, mercedem requiris ?" De Compunct. 1. 2. 

CHAP, in.] Purity of Intention. 327 

brightest fortune, that can befall a creature, is to give 
pleasure to his Creator. 

And this is what Jesus Christ looks for from a soul 
that loves him: Put me, he says, as a seal upon thy heart, as 
a seal upon thy arm. 1 He desires us to place him as a seal 
on our heart and on our arm: on our heart, in order that 
whatever we intend doing, we may intend solely for the 
love of God; on our arm, in order that whatever we do, 
all may be done to please God; so that God may be 
always the sole end of all our thoughts and of all our 
actions. St. Teresa said, that he who would become a 
saint must live free from every other desire than that of 
pleasing God; and her first daughter, the Venerable 
Beatrice of the Incarnation, said, " No sum whatever 
could repay the slightest tiling done for God." 2 And 
with reason; for all things done to please God are acts 
of charity which unite us to God, and obtain for us ever 
lasting rewards. 

Purity of intention is called the heavenly alchemy by 
which iron is turned into gold ; that is to say, the most 
trivial actions (such as to work, to take one s meals, to 
take recreation or repose), when done for God, become 
the gold of holy Icve. Wherefore St. Mary Magdalene 
of Pazzi believes for certain that those who do all with a 
pure intention, go straight to Paradise, without passing 
through purgatory. It is related (in the Spiritual Treas 
ury] that it was the custom of a pious hermit, before set 
ting about any work, to pause a little, and lift his eyes 
to heaven; on being questioned why he did so, he re 
plied, " I am taking my aim." By which he meant, that 
as the archer, before shooting his arrow, takes his aim, 
that he may not miss the mark, so before each action he 
made God his aim, in order that it might be sure of pleas- 

1 " Pone me ut signaculum super cor tuum, ut signaculum super 
brachium tuum." Cant. viii. 6. 

2 Found, ch. 12. 

328 Practice of tJie Love of Jesus CJirist. 

ing him. We should do the same ; and even during the 
performance of our actions, it is very good for us from 
time to time to renew our good intention. 

Those who have nothing else in view in their under 
takings than the divine will, enjoy that holy liberty of 
spirit which belongs to the children of God; and this 
enables them to embrace everything that pleases Jesus 
Christ, however revolting it may be to their own self-love 
or human respect. The love of Jesus Christ establishes 
his lovers in a state of total indifference; so that all is 
the same to them, be it sweet or bitter; they desire noth 
ing for their own pleasure, but all for the pleasure of 
God. With the same feelings of peace, they address 
themselves to small and great works; to the pleasant 
and the unpleasant: it is enough for them if they please 

Many, on the other hand, are willing to serve God, but 
it must be in such an employment, in such a place, with 
such companions, or under such circumstances, or else 
they either quit the work, or do it with an ill-will. Such 
persons have not freedom of spirit, but are slaves of self- 
love; and on that account gain very little merit by what 
they do ; they lead a troubled life, because the yoke of 
Jesus Christ becomes a burden to them. The true lovers 
of Jesus Christ care only to do what pleases him; and 
for the reason that it pleases him, when he wills, and 
where he wills, and in the manner he wills: and whether 
he wishes to employ them in a state of life honored by 
the world, or in a life of obscurity and insignificance. 
This is what is meant by loving Jesus Christ with a pure 
love; and in this we ought to exercise ourselves, battling 
against the craving of our self-love, which would urge 
us to seek important and honorable functions, and such 
as suit our inclinations. 

We must, moreover, be detached from all exercises, 
even spiritual ones, when the Lord wishes us to be occu- 

CHAP, in.] Purity of Intention. 329 

pied in other works of his good pleasure. One day, 
Father Alvarez, finding himself overwhelmed with busi 
ness, was anxious to get rid of it, in order to go and 
pray, because it seemed to him that during that time he 
was not with God; but our Lord then said to him: 
"Though I do not keep thee with me, let it suffice thee 
that I make use of thee." 1 This is a profitable lesson 
for those who are sometimes disturbed at being obliged, 
by obedience or by charity, to leave their accustomed 
devotions; let them be assured that such disturbances 
on like occasions do not come from God, but either from 
the devil or from self-love. " Give pleasure to God, and 
die." This is the grand maxim of the saints. 

Affect 107 is and Prayers. 

O my Eternal God, I offer Thee my whole heart ; but what 
sort of heart, O God, is it that I offer Thee ? A heart, created, 
indeed, to love Thee ; but which, instead of loving Thee, has so 
many times rebelled against Thee. But behold, my Jesus, if 
there was a time when my heart rebelled against Thee, now it is 
deeply grieved and penitent for the displeasure it has given 
Thee. Yes, my dear Redeemer, I am sorry for having despised 
Thee ; and I am determined to do all to obey Thee, and to love 
Thee at every cost. Oh, draw me wholly to Thy love ; do this 
for the sake of the love which made Thee die for me on the 
cross. I love Thee, my Jesus ; I love Thee with all my soul ; 
I love Thee more than myself, O true and only lover of my soul ; 
for I find none but Thee who have sacrificed their life for me. 
I weep to think that I have been so ungrateful to Thee. Un 
happy that I am ! I was already lost ; but I trust that by Thy 
grace Thou hast restored me to life. And this shall he my life, 
to love Thee always, my sovereign good. Make me love Thee, 
O infinite love, and I ask Thee for nothing more ! 

O Mary my mother, accept of me for thy servant, and gain 
acceptance for me will. Jesus thy Son. 

1 Life, ch. 2. 

330 Practice of the Love of Jesus CJirist. 


{Charitas non agit perperam.} 

He that loves Jesus Christ avoids Lukewarmness, and seeks 
Perfection; the Means of which are: i. Desire; 2. Reso 
lution ; 3. Mental Prayer ; 4. Communion ; 5. Prayer. 

ST. GREGORY, in his explanation of these words, 
" dealeth not perversely," says that charity, giving her 
self up more and more to the love of God, ignores 
whatever is not right and holy. 1 The Apostle had 
already written to the same effect, when he calls charity a 
bond that unites the most perfect virtues together in the 
soul. Have charity, which is the .bond of perfection. 2 And 
whereas charity delights in perfection, she consequently 
abhors that lukewarmness with which some persons 
serve God, to the great risk of losing charity, divine 
grace, their very soul, and their all. 


It must be observed that there are two kinds of 
tepidity or lukewarmness : the one unavoidible, the 
other avoidable. 

I. From the lukewarmness that is unavoidable, the 
saints themselves are not exempt; and this comprises all 
the failings that are committed by us without full con 
sent, but merely from our natural frailty. Such are, for 
example, distractions at prayers, interior disquietudes, 
useless words, vain curiosity, the wish to appear, tastes 

1 " Non agit perperam. Quia (charitas), quse se in solum Dei am- 
orem dilatat, quidquid a rectitudine discrepat, ignorat. " Mor. 1. 10, 
c. 3. 

* " Charitatem habete, quod est vinculum perfectionis." Col. iii. 

CHAP, iv.] Lukewarmncss. 331 

in eating and drinking, the movements of concupiscence 
not instantly repressed, and such like. We ought to 
avoid these defects as much as we possibly can; but, ow 
ing to the weakness of our nature, caused by the infec 
tion of sin, it is impossible to avoid them altogether. 
We ought, indeed, to detest them after committing them, 
because they are displeasing to God ; but, as we re 
marked in the preceding chapter, we ought to beware of 
making them a subject of alarm or disquietude. St. 
Francis de Sales writes as follows: "All such thoughts 
as create disquietude are not from God, who is the prince 
of peace; but they proceed always from the devil, or from 
self-love, or from the good opinion which we have of 
ourselves." 1 Such thoughts, therefore, as disturb us, 
must be straightway rejected, and made no account of. 

It was said also by the same saint, with regard to in- 
deliberate faults, that as they were involuntarily com 
mitted, so are they cancelled involuntarily. An act of 
sorrow, an act of love, is sufficient to cancel them. The 
Venerable Sister Mary Crucified, a Benedictine nun, saw 
once a globe of fire, on which a number of straws were 
cast, and were all forthwith reduced to ashes. She was 
given to understand by this figure that one act of divine 
love, made with fervor, destroys all the defects that we 
may have in our soul. The same effect is produced by 
the holy Communion; according to what we find in the 
Council of Trent, where the Eucharist is called an an 
tidote by which we are freed from daily faults." a Thus 
the like faults, though they are indeed faults, do not 
hinder perfection that is, our advancing toward perfec 
tion; because in the present life no one attains perfec 
tion before he arrives at the kingdom of the blessed. 

II. The tepidity, then, that does hinder perfection is 
that tepidity which is avoidable when a person commits 

1 Lett re 51. 
" Antidotum, quo libercmur aculpis quotidianis." 

332 Practice of t lie Love of Jesus Christ. 

deliberate venial faults; because all these faults com 
mitted with open eyes can effectually be avoided by the 
divine grace, even in the present life. Wherefore St. 
Teresa said: " May God deliver you from deliberate sin, 
however small it may be." Such, for example, are wil 
ful untruths, little detractions, imprecations, expressions 
of anger, derisions of one s neighbor, cutting words, 
speeches of self-esteem, animosities nourished in the 
heart, inordinate attachments to persons of a different 
sex. " These are a sort of worm" (wrote the same saint) 
" which is not detected before it has eaten into the vir 
tues. Mi Hence, in another place, the saint gave this ad 
monition: " By means of small things the devil goes 
about making holes for great things to enter." 3 

We should therefore tremble at such deliberate faults; 
since they cause God to close his hands from bestowing 
upon us his clearer lights and stronger helps, and they de 
prive us of spiritual sweetnesses; and the result of them 
is to make the soul perform all spiritual exercises with 
great weariness and pain; and so, in course of time, she 
begins to leave off prayer, Communions, visits to the 
Blessed Sacrament, and novenas; and, in fine, she will 
probably leave off all, as has not unfrequently been the 
case with many unhappy souls. 

This is the meaning of that threat which our Lord 
makes to the tepid: Thou art neither cold nor hot; I would 
thou wcrt cold or hot: but because thou art lukewarm . . . / 
will begin to vomit thee out of My mouth? How wonderful ! 
He says, I would thou wcrt cold ! What ! and is it better 
to be cold, that is, deprived of grace, than to be tepid ? 

1 Way of Perf. ch. 42. 

2 Inter. Castle, ch. 3. 

3 Found, ch. 29. 

4 " Neque frigidus es, neque calidus; utinain frigidus esses, aut cali- 
dus ! sed, quia tepidus es, . . . incipiam tc evomere." Apoc. iii. 
15, 16. 

CHAR iv.] Lukewarmness. 333 

Yes, in a certain sense it is better to be cold; because a 
person who is cold may more easily change his life, being 
stung by the reproaches of conscience; whereas a tepid 
person contracts the habit of slumbering on in his faults, 
without bestowing a thought, or taking any trouble to 
correct himself; and thus he makes his cure, as it were, 
desperate. St. Gregory says, "Tepidity, which has 
cooled down from fervor, is a hopeless state." 1 The 
Ven. Father Louis da Ponte said that he had committed 
many defects in the course of his life; but that he never 
had made a truce with his faults. Some there are who 
shake hands with their faults, and from that springs 
their ruin; especially when the fault is accompanied with 
some passionate attachment of self-esteem, of ambition, 
of liking to be seen, of heaping up money, of resentment 
against a neighbor, or of inordinate affection for a per 
son of different sex. In such cases there is great danger 
of those hairs, as it were, becoming chains, as St. Francis 
of Assisi said, which will drag down the soul to hell. At 
all events, such a soul will never become a saint, and will 
forfeit that beautiful crown, which God had prepared 
for her, had she faithfully corresponded to grace. The 
bird no sooner feels itself loosed from the snare than it 
immediately flies; the soul, as soon as she is loosed from 
earthly attachments, immediately flies to God; but while 
she is bound, though it be but by the slightest thread, it 
is enough to prevent her from flying to God. Oh, how 
many spiritual persons there are who do not become 
saints, because they will not do themselves the violence 
to break away from certain little attachments ! 

All the evil arises from the little love they have for 
Jesus Christ. Those who are puffed up with self-esteem; 
those who frequently take to heart occurrences that fall 
out contrary to their wishes; who practise great indul- 

1 " Tepor (quia fervore defecit) in desperatione est. " Past. p. 3, 
adm. 35 

334 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

gence towards themselves on account of their health; 
who keep their heart open to external objects, and 
the mind always distracted, with an eagerness to listen 
to, and to know, so many things that have nothing to do 
with the service of God, but merely serve to gratify pri 
vate curiosity; who are ready to resent every little inat 
tention from others, and consequently are often troubled, 
and grow remiss in prayer and recollection. One moment 
they are all devotion and joy, the next all impatience 
and melancholy, just as things happen, according to or 
against their humor; all such persons do not love Jesus 
Christ, or love him very little, and cast discredit on true 

But suppose any one should find himself sunk in this 
unhappy state of tepidity, what has he to do ? Cer 
tainly it is a hard thing for a soul grown lukewarm to 
resume her ancient fervor; but our Lord has said, that 
what man cannot do, God can very well do. The things 
that arc impossible with man, are possible with God. 1 Who 
ever prays and employs the means is sure to accomplish 
his desire. 

Remedies against Lukewarmness. 

The means to cast off tepidity, and to tread in the path 
of perfection, are five in number: i. The desire of per- 
f e ction; 2. The resolution to attain it; 3. Mental praye r ; 
4. Frequent Holy Communion; 5. Prayer. 

i. Desire of Perfection. 

The first means, then, is the desire of perfection. Pious 
desires are the wings which lift us up f.^om earth; for, as 
St. Laurence Justinian says, desire "supplies strength, 

1 " Quse impossibiliasunt apud homines, possibiliasunt apud Deum." 
Luke, xviii. 27. 

CHAP, iv.] Remedies against Lukewarmness. 335 

and renders pain more light:" 1 on the one hand it gives 
strength to walk towards perfection, and on the other 
hand it lightens the fatigue of the journey. HejvyJ_io_has 
a real desire of perfection fails not J:o advance continu 
ally towards it; and so advancing, he must finally arrive 
at it. On the contrary, he who has not the desire of per 
fection will always go backwards, and always find him 
self more imperfect than before. St. Augustine says, 
that "not to go forward in the way of God is to go 
backward." 2 He that makes no efforts to advance will 
find himself carried backward by the current of his cor 
rupt nature. 

They, then, who say " God does not wish us all to be 
saints" make a great mistake. Yes, for St. Paul says, 
This is the Will of God, your sanctification* God wishes 
all to be saints, and each one according to his state of 
life: the religious as a religious; the secular as a secular; 
the priest as a priest; the married as married; the man 
of business as a man of business; the soldier as a soldier; 
and so of every other state of life. 

Most beautiful, indeed, are the instructions which my 
great patroness St. Teresa gives on this subject. She 
says, in one place, "Let us enlarge our thoughts; for 
hence we shall derive immense good." Elsewhere she 
says: "We must beware of having poor desires; but 
rather put our confidence in God, in order that, by forc 
ing ourselves continually onwards, we may by degrees 
arrive where, by the divine grace, so many saints have 
arrived. M< And in confirmation of this she quoted her 
own experience, having known how courageous souls 
make considerable progress in a short period of time. 

1 "Vires subministrat, poenam exhibet leviorem." De Disc. man. 
c. 6. 

2 " Non progredi, jam reverti est." Ep. 17, E. B. app. 

3 " Haec est voluntas Dei, sanctificatio vestra." i Thess. iv. 3. 
* Life, ch. 13. 

336 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

" Because," said she, " the Lord takes as much delight 
in our desires, as if they were put into execution." In 
another place she says: "Almighty God does not confer 
extraordinary favors, except where his love has been 
earnestly sought after." Again, in another passage, 
she remarks: "God does not fail to repay every good 
desire even in this life, 2 for he is the friend of generous 
souls, provided only they do not trust in themselves." 3 
This saint herself was endowed with just such a spirit of 
generosity ; so that she once even said to our Lord, 
that were she to behold others in paradise enjoying 
him more than herself, she should not care; but were 
she to behold any one loving him more than she should 
love him, this she declared she knew not how she could 
endure. 4 

We must, therefore, have a great courage: The Lord 
is good to the soul that seeketh hfyi.* God is surpassingly 
good and liberal towards a soul that heartily seeks him. 
Neither can past sins prove a hindrance to our becoming 
saints, if we only have the sincere desire to become so. 
St. Teresa remarks: "The devil strives to make us think 
it pride to entertain lofty desires, and to wish to imitate 
the saints; but it is of great service to encourage ourselves 
with the desire of great things, because, although the 
soul has not all at once the necessary strength, yet she 
nevertheless makes a bold fight, and rapidly advances. " 

The Apostle writes: To than that love *God, all things 
work together unto good. 1 And the gloss or ancient com 
mentary adds "even sins;" 8 even past sins can contrib- 

1 Way of Pcrf. ch. 35. 2 Life, ch. 4. 

3 Life, ch. 13. 4 Rib. \. 4, c. 10. 

5 "Bonus est Dominus . . . animoe quaerenti ilium." Lam. iii. 25. 
r > Life, ch. 13. 

1 " Diligentibus Deum omnia cooperantur in bonum." Rom. viii. 

8 " Etiam peccata." 

CHAP, iv.j Remedies against Lukewarmness. 337 

ute to our sanctification, inasmuch as the recollection 
of them keeps us more humble, and more grateful, 
when we witness the favors which God lavishes upon us, 
after all our outrages against him. I am capable of 
nothing (the sinner should say), nor do I deserve any 
thing; I deserve nothing but hell; but I have to deal 
with a God of infinite bounty, who has promised to listen 
to all that pray to him. Now, as he has rescued me from 
a state of damnation, and wishes me to become holy, and 
now proffers me his help, I can certainly become a saint, 
not by my own strength, but by the grace of my God, 
who strengthens me : / can do all tilings in Him that 
strcngthencUi me. 1 When, therefore, we have once good 
desires, we must take courage, and trusting in God, en 
deavor to put them in execution; but iL_afiei".w^nis : we 
^.encounter any obstacle in our spiritual enterprises, let us 
repose quietly on the will of God. God s will must be 
preferred before every good desire of our own. St. Mary 
Magdalene of Pazzi would sooner have remained void of 
all perfection than possess it without the will of God. 

2. Resolution. 

The second means of perfection is the resolution to 
belong wholly to God. Many are called to perfection; 
they are urged on towards it by grace, they conceive, a 
desire of it ; but because they never really resolve to 
acquire it, they live and die in the ilJ:Qdor_pf their tepid 
and imperfect life. The desire of perfection is not 
enough, if it be not followed up by a stern resolve to 
attain it. How many souls feed themselves on desires 
alone, but never make withal one step in the way of God ! 
It is of such desires that the wise man speaks when 
he says : Desires kill the slothful? The slothful man is 
ever desiring, but never resolves to take the means suit- 

1 " Omnia possum in eo qui me confortat." Phil. iv. 13. 
- " Desideria occidunt pigrum." Prov. xxi. 25. 



8 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

able to his state of life to become a saint. He says: 
"Oh, if I were but in solitude, and not in this house! 
I Oh, if I could but go and reside in another monastery, I 
[would give myself entirely up to God !" And mean 
while he cannot support a certain companion; he cannot 
I put up with a word of contradiction; he is dissipated 
I about many useless cares; he commits a thousand faults 
of gluttony, of curiosity, and of pride; and yet he sighs 
lout to the wind: " Oh, if I had but !" or "Oh, if I could 
I but!" etc. Such desires do more harm than good; be 
cause some regale themselves upon them, and in the 
meantime go on leading a life of imperfection. It was a 
saying of St. Francis de Sales: "I do not approve of a 
person who, being engaged in some duty or vocation, 
stops to sigh for some other kind of life than is compati 
ble with his actual position, or for other exercises un 
fitted for his present state; for it merely serves to dissi 
pate his heart, and makes him languish in his necessary 
duties." l 

We must, therefore, desire perfection, and resolutely 
take the means towards it. St. Teresa says: "God only 
looks for one resolution on our part, and will afterwards 
do all the rest himself: 2 the devil has no fear of irresolute 
souls." 1 For this reason mental prayer must be used, 
in order to take the means which lead to perfection. Some 
make much prayer, but never come to a practical con 
clusion. The same saint said: "I would rather have a 
short prayer, which produces great fruits, than a prayer 
of many years, wherein a soul never gets further than 
resolving to do something worthy of Almighty God." 
And elsewhere she says: "I have learned by experience 
that whoever, at the beginning, brings himself to the 
resolution of doing some great work, however difficult it 

1 Introd. ch. 37. 2 Found, ch. 28. 

3 Way of Per f. ch. 24 4 Life, ch. 39. 

CHAP. iv. i Remedies against Lukewarmness. 339 

may be, if he does so to please God, he has no reason to 
be afraid." 

The first resolution must be to make every effort, and 
to die rather than commit any deliberate sin whatever, 
however small it may be. It is true that all our endeav 
ors, without the divine assistance, cannot enable us to 
vanquish temptations; but God wishes us on our part fre 
quently to use this violence with ourselves, because then 
he will afterwards supply us with his grace, will succor 
our weakness, and enable us to gain the victory. This 
resolution removes from us every obstacle to our going 
forward, and at the same time gives us great courage, 
because it affords us an assurance of being in the grace 
of God. St. Francis de Sales writes: "The best security 
we can possess in this world of being in the grace of God, 
consists not indeed in feeling that we have his love, but 
in a pure and irrevocable abandonment of our entire 
being into his hands, and in the firm resolution of never 
_j consenting to any sin, either great or small." 1 This is 
what is meant by being of a delicate conscience. Be it 
observed, that it is one thing to be of a delicate con 
science, and another to be of a scrupulous conscience. 
To be of a delicate conscience is requisite to become a 
saint; but to be scrupulous is a defect, and does harm; 
and on this account we must obey our directors, and rise 
above scruples, which are nothing else but vain and un 
reasonable alarms. 

Hence it is necessary to resolve on choosing the best, 
not only what is agreeable to God, but what is most 
agreeable to him, without any reserve. St. Francis de 
Sales says: "We must start with a strong and constant 
resolution to give ourselves wholly to God, and protest 
to him that for the future we wish to be his without any 
Deserve, and then we must afterwards often renew this 

1 Spirit, ch. q. 

340 Practice of tJie Love of Jesus Christ. 

same resolution." 1 St. Andrew Avellini made a vow to 
advance daily in perfection. It is not necessary for every 
one who wishes to become a saint to make it the matter 
of a vow; but he must endeavor every day to make some 
steps forward in perfection. St. Laurence Justinian has 
written: "When a person is really making way, he feels 
in himself a continual desire of advancing; and the more 
he improves in perfection, the more this desire increases; 
because as his interior light increases each day more 
and more, he seems to himself always to be wanting in 
every virtue, and to be doing no good at all; and if, per 
chance, he is aware of some good he does, it always ap 
pears to him very imperfect, and he makes small account 
of it. The consequence is, he is continually laboring to 
acquire perfection without ever feeling wearied." 

And we must begin quickly, and not wait for the mor 
row. Who knows whether we shall afterwards find time 
or not ! Ecclesiastes counsels us: Whatsoever thy hand is 
able to do, do it earnestly? What thou canst do, do it 
quickly, and defer it not; and he adduces the reason 
why: For neither work, nor reason, nor wisdom, nor knowl 
edge shall be in hell, whither tJwu art hastening? Because in 
the next life there is no more time to work, nor free 
will to merit, nor prudence to do well, nor wisdom or 
experience to take good counsel by, for aft^er death what 
is done is done. 

A nun of the convent of Torre de Specchi in Rome, 
whose name was Sister Bonaventura, led a very luke 
warm sort of life. There came a religious, Father Lan- 
cicius, to give the spiritual exercises to the nuns, and 
Sister Bonaventura, feeling no inclination to shake off 

1 Love of God, B. 12, ch. 8. 

2 " Quodcumque facere potest manus tua, instanter operate. " 
Eccles. ix. 10. 

3 " Quia nee opus, nee ratio, nee sapientia nee scientia, erunt apud 
inferos, quo tu properas." Ibid. 

CHAP, iv.] Remedies against Lukcwarmncss. 341 

her tepidity, began to listen to the exercises with no good 
will. But at the very first sermon she was won by divine 
grace, so that she immediately went to the feet of the 
Father who preached, and said to him, with a tone of 
real determination, "Father, I wish to become a saint, 
and quickly a saint." And, by the assistance of God, 
she did so; for she lived only eight months after that 
event, and during that short time she lived and died a 

David said: And I said, now have I beguti.* So likewise 
exclaimed St. Charles Borromeo: "To-day I begin to 
serve God." And we should act in the same way as if 
we had hitherto done no good whatever; for, indeed, all 
that we do for God is nothing, since we are bound to do 
it. Let us therefore each day resolve to begin afresh to 
belong wholly to God. Neither let us stop to observe 
what or how others do. They who become truly saints 
are few. St. Bernard says: " One cannot be perfect with 
out being singular." If we would imitate the common 
run of men, we should always remain imperfect, as for 
the most part they are. We must overcome all, renounce 
all, in order to gain all. St. Teresa said: "Because we 
do not come to the conclusion cf giving all our affection 
to God, so neither does he give all his love to us." Oh, 
God, how little is all that is given to Jesus Christ, who 
has given his blood and his life for us ! " However much 
we give," says the same saint, "is but dirt, in compari 
son of one single drop of blood shed for us by our 
Blessed Lord." The saints know not how to spare 
themselves, when there is a question of pleasing a God 
who gave himself wholly, without reserve, on purpose to 
oblige us to deny him nothing. St. John Chrysostom 

1 "Etdixi: Nunc coepi." Ps. Ixxvi. u. 

2 " Perfectum esse non potest nisi singulare." 

3 Life, ch. ii. 

4 Ibid, ch 39. 

342 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

wrote: " He gave all to thee, and kept nothing for him 
self." 1 God has bestowed his entire self upon thee; 
there is, then, no excuse for thee to behave reservedly 
with God. He has even died for us all, says the Apostle, 
in order that each one of us may live only for him who 
died for us: Christ died for all; that they also who live may 
not now live to themselves, but unto Him who died for them? 

3. Mental Prayer. 

The third means of becoming a saint is mental prayer. 
John Gerson writes: 3 " That he who does not meditate 
on the eternal truths cannot, without a miracle, lead the 
lifeof a Christian. The reason is, because without men 
tal prayer light fails us, and we walk in the dark. The 
truths of faith are not seen by the eyes of the body, but by 
the eyes of the mind, when we meditate; he that fails to 
meditate on them, fails to see them, and therefore walks in 
the dark; and being in the dark, he easily grows attached 
to sensible things, for the sake of which he then comes to 
despise the eternal." St. Teresa wrote as follows to the 
Bishop of Osma: "Although we seem to discover in our 
selves no imperfections; yet, when God opens the eyes of 
the soul, which he is wont to do in prayer, then they.plainly 
appear." 4 And St. Bernard had before said, that he who 
does not meditate "does not abhor himself, merely be 
cause he does not know himself." J " Prayer," says the 
saint, " regulates the affections, directs the actions," 
keeps the affections of the soul in order, and directs all 
our actions to God; but without prayer the affections 

1 " Totum tibi dedit, nihil sibi reliquit." 

2 "Pro omnibus mortuus est Christus, ut et qui vivunt, jam non 
sibi vivant, sed ei qui pro ipsis mortuus est." 2 Cor. v. 15. 

3 De Med. cons. 7. 

4 Lett re 8. 

5 " Seipsum non exhorret, quia nee sentit." DC Cons. 1. I, c. 2. 

6 "Consideratio regit affectus, dirigit actus." Ibid. c. 7. 

CHAP, iv.] Remedies against Lukewarmness. 343 

become attached to the earth, the actions conform them 
selves to the affections, and in this manner all runs into 

We read of an awful example of this in the life of the 
Venerable Sister Mary Crucified of Sicily. Whilst this 
servant of God was praying, she heard a devil making a 
boast that he had succeeded in withdrawing a religious 
from the community-prayer; and she saw in spirit, that 
after this omission the devil tempted her to consent to a 
grievous sin, and that she was on the point of yielding. 
She forthwith accosted her, and by a timely admonition 
prevented her from falling. Abbe Diodes said, that 
whoever leaves off prayer "very shortly becomes either 
a beast or a devil." ] 

He therefore that leaves off prayer will leave off lov 
ing Jesus Christ. Prayer is the blessed furnace in which 
the fire of holy love is enkindled and kept alive: And in 
my meditation a fire shall flame out? It was said by St. 
Catharine of Bologna: " The person that foregoes the 
practice of prayer cuts that string which binds the soul 
to God." It follows that the devil, finding the soul cold 
in divine love, will have little difficulty in inducing her 
to partake of some poisonous fruit or other. St. Teresa 
said, on the contrary, " Whosoever perseveres in prayer, 
let him hold for a certainty, that with however many 
sins the devil may surround him, the Lord will eventu 
ally bring him into the haven of salvation." : In another 
place she says, " Whoever halts not in the way of prayer 
arrives sooner or later." 1 And elsewhere she writes, 
" that it is on this account that the devil labors so hard 
to withdraw souls from prayer, because he well knows 
that he has missed gaining those who faithfully perse- 

J Pall. Hist, la us. c. 98. 

2 " In meditatione mea exardescet ignis." Ps. xxxviii. 4. 

8 Life. ch. 8. 

4 Ibid. ch. 19. 

344 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

vere in prayer." Oh, how great are the benefits thai, flow 
from prayer! In prayer \ve conceive holy thoughts, we 
practise devout affections, we excite great desires, and 
form efficacious resolutions to give ourselves wholly to 
God; and thus the soul is led for his sake to sacrifice 
earthly pleasures and all disorderly appetites. It was 
said by St. Aloysius Gonzaga: " There will never be 
much perfection without much prayer." Let him who 
longs for perfection mark well this notable saying of the 

We should not go to prayer in order to taste the 
sweetness of divine love; whoever prays from such a 
motive will lose his time, or at least derive little advan 
tage from it. A person should begin to pray solely to 
please God, that is, solely to learn what the will of God 
is in his regard, and to beg of him the help to put it in 
practice. The Venerable Father Antony Torres said: 
"To carry the cross without consolation makes souls fly 
to perfection. Prayer unattended with sensible consola 
tions confers greater fruit on the soul. But pitiable is 
the poor soul that leaves off prayer, because she finds no 
relish in it." St. Teresa said: "When a soul leaves off 
prayer, it is as if she cast herself into hell without any 
need of devils." 1 

It results, too, from the practice of prayer, that a per 
son constantly thinks of God. " The true lover" (says 
St. Teresa) " is ever mindful of the beloved one. And 
hence it follows that persons of prayer are always speak 
ing of God, knowing, as they do, how pleasing it is to 
God that his lovers should delight in conversing about 
him, and on the love he bears them, and that thus they 
should endeavor to enkindle it in others." The same 
saint wrote: "Jesus Christ is always found present at 
the conversations of the servants of God, and he is very 
much gratified to be the subject of their delight." 

1 Life, ch. 19. 2 Found, ch. 5. 3 Life, ch. 34. 

CHAP, iv.] Remedies against Lukewarmness. 345 

Prayer, again, creates that desire of retiring into soli 
tude, in order to converse alone with God, and to main 
tain interior recollection in the discharge of necessary 
external duties; I say necessary, such as the management 
of one s family, or of the performance of duties required 
of us by obedience; because a person of prayer must 
love solitude, and avoid dissipation in superfluous and 
useless affairs, otherwise he will lose the spirit of recol 
lection, which is a great means of preserving union with 
God: My sister, my spouse is a garden enclosed. 1 The soul 
espoused to Jesus Christ must be a garden closed against 
all creatures, and must not admit into her heart other 
thoughts, nor other business, but those of God or for 
God. Hearts thrown open never become saints. The 
saints, who have to labor in gaining souls to God, do not 
lose their recollection in the midst of all their labors, 
either of preaching, confessing, reconciling enemies, or 
assisting the sick. The same rule holds good with those 
who have to apply to study. How many from excessive 
study, and a desire to become learned, become neither 
holy nor learned, because true learning consists in the 
science of the saints; that is to say, in knowing how to 
love Jesus Christ; whereas, on the contrary, divine love 
brings with it knowledge and every good: All good things 
came to me together with Jier? that is, with holy charity. 
The Venerable John Berchmans had an extraordinary 
love for study, but by his great virtue he never allowed 
study to interfere with his spiritual interests. The 
Apostle exhorts us: Not to be more wise than it bchoveth to 
be wise, but to be wise unto sobriety: 1 A priest especially 
must have knowledge; he must know things, because he 

" Hortus conclusus, soror mea sponsa." Cant. iv. 12. 

2 " Venerunt autem mihi omnia bona pariter cum ilia." IVisd. 
vii. II. 

* " Non plus sapere, quam oportct sapere, sed sapere ad sobrieta- 
tem." Rom. xii. 3. 

346 Practice of the Love of Jcsns Christ. 

has to instruct others in the divine law: For the lips of 
the priest shall keep knowledge, and they shall seek the law at 
his mouth? He must have knowledge, but unto sobriety. 
He that leaves prayer for study shows that in his study 
he seeks himself, and not God. He that seeks God 
leaves study (if it be not absolutely necessary), in order 
not to omit prayer. 

Besides, the greatest evil is, that without mental 
prayer we do not pray at all. I have spoken frequently 
in my spiritual works of the necessity of prayer, and 
more especially in a little volume entitled, On Prayer, 
the great Means, etc.; and in the present chapter also I will 
briefly say a few other things. It will be sufficient then 
to quote here the opinion of the Venerable Palafox, 
Bishop of Osma, in his remarks on the letters of St. 
Teresa: "How can charity last, unless God grant us 
perseverance ? How will the Lord grant us perse 
verance unless we ask it of him ? And how shall we ask 
it of him except by prayer? Without prayer there is no 
communication with God for the preservation of vir 
tue." 2 And so it is, because he that neglects mental 
prayer sees very little into the wants of his soul, he 
knows little of the dangers of his salvation, of the means 
to be used in order to overcome temptations; and so, 
understanding little of the necessity of prayer, he leaves 
off praying, and will certainly be lost. 

Then as regards subjects for meditation, nothing is 
more useful than to meditate on the Four Last Things 
death, judgment, hell, and heaven; but it is of especial 
advantage to meditate on death, and to imagine our 
selves expiring on the bed of sickness, with the crucifix 
in our hands, and on the point of entering into eternity. 
But above all, to one that loves Jesus Christ, and is 

1 " Labia enim sacerdotis custodient scientiam, et legem requirent 
ex ore ejus." Mai. ii. 7. 

2 Lett re 8. 

CHAP, iv.] Remedies against Lukcwarmness. 347 

anxious always to increase in his love, no consideration 
is more efficacious than that of the Passion of the Re 
deemer. St. Francis de Sales calls " Mount Calvary the 
mountain of lovers." All the lovers of Jesus Christ love 
to abide on this mountain, where no air is breathed but 
the air of divine love. When we see a God dying for 
our love, and dying in order to gain our love (He loved 
us, and delivered Himself up for us 1 ), it is impossible not 
to love him ardently. Such darts of love continually 
issue forth from the wounds of Christ crucified as pierce 
even hearts of stone. Oh, happy is he who is ever going 
during this life to the heights of Calvary ! O blessed 
Mount! O lovely Mount! O beloved Mount! and who 
shall ever leave thee more! A Mount that sends forth 
flames to enkindle the souls that perseveringly abide 
upon thee! 

4. Frequent Communion. 

The fourth means of perfection, and even of perse 
verance in the grace of God, is frequently to receive the 
Holy Communion, of which we have already spoken in 
the Introduction, II., page 275, where we affirmed that a 
soul can do nothing more pleasing to Jesus Christ than 
to receive him often in the Sacrament of the Altar. St. 
Teresa said : "There is no better help to perfection than 
frequent Communion : oh, how admirably does the Lord 
bring such a soul to perfection !" And she adds, that, 
ordinarily speaking, they who communicate most fre 
quently are found further advanced in perfection ; and 
that there is greater spirituality in those communities 
where frequent Communion is the custom. For this 
reason it is that, as we find declared in a decree of Inno 
cent XI., in 1679, the holy Fathers have so highly extolled, 
and so much promoted, the practice of frequent and even 
of daily Communion. Holy Communion, as the Council 
1 " Dilexit nos et tradidit semetipsum pro nobis." Eph, v. 2. 

348 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

of Trent tells us, delivers us from daily faults, and pre 
serves us from mortal ones. St. Bernard- asserts 1 that 
Communion represses the movements of anger and incon 
tinence, which are the two passions that most frequently 
and most violently assail us. St. Thomas says, 2 that Com 
munion defeats the suggestions of the devil. And finally, 
St. John Chrysostom says, that Communion pours into 
our souls a great inclination to virtue, and a promptitude 
to practise it ; and at the same time impar-ts to us a great 
peace, by which the path of perfection is made very sweet 
and easy to us. Besides, there is no sacrament so cap 
able of kindling the divine love in souls as the Holy Sac 
rament of the Eucharist, in which Jesus Christ bestows 
on us his whole self, in order to unite us all to himself 
by means of holy love. Wherefore the Venerable Father 
John of Avila said : " Whoever deters souls from frequent 
Communion does the work of the devil." Yes; for the 
devil has a great horror of this sacrament, from which 
souls derive immense strength to advance in divine 

But the proper preparation is requisite to communi 
cate well The first preparation, or, in other terms, the 
remote preparation, to be able to go to Communion 
daily, or several times in the week, is: i. To keep free 
from all deliberate affection to sin that is, to sin com-mit- 
ted, as we say, with the eyes open. 2. The practice of 
much mental prayer. 3. The mortification of the senses 
and of the passions. St. Francis de Sales 3 teaches as 
follows: "Whoever has overcome the greatest part of his 
bad inclinations, and has arrived at a notable degree of 
perfection, can communicate every day." The angelic 
Doctor St. Thomas says, 4 that any one who knows by 
experience that his soul derives an increase of divine 
love from the Holy Communion may communicate 

1 In Ccena D. s. I. a P. 3, q. 79. a. 6. 

3 In trod. ch. 2O. 4 In 4 Sent. d. 12, q. 3, a. i, s. 2. 

CHAP, iv.i Remedies against Lnkcivarmncss. 349 

daily. Hence Innocent XI., in the above-mentioned 
decree, said that the greater or less frequency of Holy 
Communion must rest on the decision of the confessor 
who ought to be guided in this matter by the profit 
which he sees accrue to the souls under his direction. 
In the next place, the proximate preparation for Com 
munion is that which is made on the morning itself of 
Communion, for which there is need of at least half an 
hour of mental prayer. 

To reap also more abundant fruit from Communion, 
we must make a long thanksgiving. Father John of 
Avila said that the time after communion is "a time to 
gain treasures of graces." St. Mary Magdalene of Pazzi 
used to say that no time can be more calculated to in 
flame us with divine love than the time immediately after 
our Communion. And St. Teresa says: " After Commu 
nion let us be careful not to lose so good an opportunity 
of negotiating with God. His divine majesty is not ac 
customed to pay badly for his lodging, if he meets with 
a good reception." 1 

There are certain pusillanimous souls, who, on being 
exhorted to communicate more frequently, reply: "But 
I am not worthy." But, do you not know, that the more 
you refrain from Communion, the more unworthy you 
become of it? Because, deprived of Holy Communion, 
you will have less strength, and will commit many faults. 
Well, then, obey your director, and be guided by him : 
faults do not forbid Holy Communion, when they are 
not committed with full will ; besides, among your fail 
ings, the greatest is, not to submit to what your spiritual 
Father says to you. 

"But in my past life I was very bad." And I reply, 

that you must know, that he who is weakest has most 

need of the physician and of medicine. Jesus in the 

Blessed Sacrament is our physician and medicine as well. 

1 Way of Perfection , c h . 35. 

350 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

St. Ambrose said : " I, who am always sinning, have 
always need of medicine." You will then say, perhaps-: 
"But my confessor does not tell me to communicate 
oftener." If, then, he does not tell you to do so, ask his 
permission to communicate oftener. Should he deny 
you, obey him; but in the mean time make him the re 
quest. " It would seem pride." It would be pride if 
you were to wish to communicate against his will, but 
not when you ask his consent with humility. This 
heavenly bread requires hunger. Jesus loves to be de 
sired, says a devout author; "He thirsts to be thirsted 
for." 2 And what a thought is this: "To-day I have com 
municated, and to-morrow I have to communicate." Oh, 
how such a reflection keeps the soul attentive to avoid 
all defects and to do the will of God ! " But I have no 
devotion." If you mean sensible devotion, it is not 
necessary, neither does God always grant it even to his 
most beloved souls. It is enough for you to have the 
devotion of a will determined to belong w r holly to God, 
and to make progress in his divine love. John Gerson 
says, 3 that he who abstains from Communion because he 
does not feel that devotion which he would like to feel, 
acts like a man who does not approach the fire because 
he does not feel warm. 

Alas, my God, how many souls, for want of applying 
themselves to lead a life of greater recollection and more 
detachment from earthly things, care not to seek Holy 
Communion ! and this is the true cause of their not wish 
ing to communicate more frequently. They are well 
aware that to be wishing always to appear, to dress with 
vanity, to be fond of nice eating and drinking, of bod ily 
comforts, of conversations and amusements, does not 

1 " Qui semper pecco, semper debeo habere medicum." De Sacram. 
1. 4, c. 6. 

2 " Si tit sitiri Deus." Tetr. Sent. 37. 

3 Sup. Magn. tr. q, p. 3. 

CHAP, iv.] Remedies against Lukewarmncss. 351 

harmonize with frequent Communion ; they know that 
more prayer is required, more mortification, as well in 
ternal as external, more seclusion ; and on this account 
they are ashamed to approach the altar more frequently. 
Without doubt, such souls are right to refrain from fre 
quent Communion as long as they find themselves in 
that unhappy state of lukewarmness ; but whoever is 
called to a more perfect life should lay aside this luke 
warmness, if he would not greatly risk his eternal salva 

It will be found likewise to contribute very much to 
keep fervor alive in the soul, often to make a spiritual 
Communion, so much recommended by the Council of 
Trent, 1 which exhorts all the faithful to practise it. The 
spiritual Communion, as St. Thomas says, 2 consists in an 
ardent desire to receive Jesus Christ in the Holy Sacra 
ment ; and therefore the saints were careful to make it 
several times in the day. The method of making it is 
this: "My Jesus, I believe that Thou art really present 
in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love Thee, and I desire 
Thee; come to my soul. I embrace Thee; and I beseech 
Thee never to allow me to be separated from Thee 
again." Or more briefly thus: "My Jesus, come to me; 
I desire Thee; I embrace Thee; let us remain ever united 
together." This spiritual Communion maybe practised 
several times a day: when we make our prayer, when we 
make our visit to the Blessed Sacrament, and especially 
when we attend Mass at the moment of the priest s Com 
munion. The Dominican Sister Blessed Angela of the 
Cross said: " If my confessor had not taught me this 
method of communicating spiritually several times a 
day, I should not have trusted myself to live." 

5. Prayer. 

The fifth and most necessary means for the spiritual 
1 Sess. xiii. cap. 8, - P. 3. q. 79, a. I. 

352 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

life, and for obtaining the love of Jesus Christ, is prayer. 
In the first place, I say that by this means God convinces 
us of the great love he bears us. What greater proof of 
affection can a person give to a friend than to say to him, 
" My friend, ask anything you like of me, and I will give 
it you ?" Now, this is precisely what our Lord says to 
us: Ask, and it shall be given you ; seek, and you shall find? 
Wherefore prayer is called all-powerful with God to ob 
tain every blessing: " Prayer, though it is one, can effect 
all things," as Theodoret says; 2 whoever prays, obtains 
from God whatever he chooses. The words of David are 
beautiful : Blessed be God who hatJi not turned away my 
prayer, nor his mercy from me? Commenting on this pas 
sage, St. Augustine says, " As long as thou seest thyself 
not failing in prayer, be assured that the divine mercy 
will not fail thee either." And St. John Chrysostom: 
"We always obtain, even while we are still praying." 4 
When we pray to God he grants us the grace we ask for, 
even before we have ended our petition. If then we are 
poor, let us blame only ourselves, since we are poor 
merely because we wish to be poor, and so we are unde 
serving of pity. What sympathy can there be for a beg 
gar, who, having a very rich master, and one most desir 
ous to provide him with everything if he will only ask 
for it, nevertheless chooses still to continue in his poverty 
sooner than ask for what he wants ? * Behold," says the 
Apostle, "our God is ready to enrich all who call upon 
him:" Rich unto all that call upon Him? 

Humble prayer, then, obtains all from God; but we 

1 "Petite, et dabitur vobis; quserite, et irivenietis." Matt. vii. 7. 

2 " Oratio cum sit una omnia potest." Ap. Rodr. p. I, tr. 5, c. 14; 
Wisd. vii. 27. 

3 " Benedictus Deus, qui non amovit orationem meam et misericor- 
diam suam a me." Ps. Ixv. 20. 

4 " Semper obtinemus, etiam dum adhuc oramus." 

5 " Dives in omnibus qui invocant ilium." Rom. x 12. 

CHAP, iv.] Remedies against Lukewarmness. 353 

must be persuaded at the same time, that if it be useful, 
it is no less necessary for our salvation. It is certain 
that we absolutely require the divine assistance, in order 
to overcome temptations ; and sometimes, in certain 
more violent assaults, the sufficient grace which God 
gives to all, might possibly enable us to resist them; but 
on account of our inclination to evil, it will not ordina 
rily be sufficient, and we shall stand in need of a special 
grace. Whoever prays obtains this grace; but whoever 
prays not, obtains it not, and is lost. And this is more 
especially the case with regard to the grace of final per 
severance, of dying in the grace of God, which is the grace 
absolutely necessary for our salvation, and without 
which we should be lost forever. St. Augustine 1 says 
of this grace, that God only bestows it on those who 
pray. And this is the reason why so few are saved, be 
cause few indeed are mindful to beg of God this grace 
of perseverance. 

In fine, the holy Fathers say, that prayer is necessary 
for us, not merely as a necessity of precept (so that divines 
say, that he who neglects for a month to recommend to 
God the affair of his salvation is not exempt from mortal 
sin), but also as a necessity of means, which is as much as 
to say, that whoever does not pray cannot possibly be 
saved. And the reason of it is, in short, because we can 
not obtain eternal salvation without the help of divine 
grace, and this grace Almighty God only accords to 
those who pray. And because temptations, and the 
dangers of falling into God s displeasure, continually be 
set us, so ought our prayers to be continual. Hence St. 
Thomas declares that continual prayer is necessary for a 
man to save himself: "Unceasing prayer is necessary to 
man, that he may enter heaven." 1 And Jesus Christ 

1 De Dono pers. c. 16. 

" Necessaria est homini jugis oratio, ad hoc quod coelum introeat." 
P. 3, q. 39, a. 5. 


354 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

himself had already said the same thing: We ought always 
to pray, and not to faint? And afterwards the Apostle: 
Pray without ceasing? During the interval in which we 
shall cease to pray, the devil will conquer us. And 
though the grace of perseverance can in no wise be 
merited by us, as the Council of Trent teaches us, 3 
nevertheless St. Augustine says, "that in a certain sense 
we can merit it by prayer." The Lord wishes to dis 
pense his grace to us, but he will be entreated first; 
nay more, as St. Gregory remarks, he wills to be impor 
tuned, and in a manner constrained by our prayers: 
" God wishes to be prayed to, he wishes to be com 
pelled, he wishes to be, as it were, vanquished by our 
importunity." St. Mary Magdalene of Pazzi said, "that 
when we ask graces of God, he not only hears us, but in 
a certain sense thanks us." Yes, because God, as the 
infinite goodness, in wishing to pour out himself upon 
others, has, so to speak, an infinite longing to distribute 
his gifts; but he wishes to be besought: hence it follows, 
that when he sees himself entreated by a soul, he receives 
so much pleasure, that in a certain sense he thanks that 
soul for it. 

Well, then, if we wish to preserve ourselves in the 
grace of God till death, we must act the mendicant, and 
keep our mouths open to beg for God s help, always re 
peating, " My Jesus, mercy; never let me be separated 
from Thee; O Lord, come to my aid ; My God, assist 
me !" This was the unceasing prayer of the ancient 
Fathers of the desert: "Incline unto my aid, O God: 

1 " Oportet semper orare, et non deficere." Luke, xviii. i. 
2 " Sine intennissione orate." I Thess. v. 17. 

3 Sess. vi. cap. 13. 

4 " Hoc Dei donum suppliciter emereri potest." De Dono pers. 
c. 6. 

6 " Vult Deus rogari, vult cogi, vult quadam importunitate vinci. 
In Ps. vi. pcen. 

CHAP, iv.] Remedies against Lukewarmness. 355 

O Lord, make haste to help me ! l O Lord, help me, and 
help me soon; for if Thou delayest Thy assistance, I 
shall fall and perish !" And this above all must be 
practised in the moment of temptation ; he who acts 
otherwise is lost. 

And let us have a great faith in prayer. God has 
promised to hear him that prays: Ask, and you shall re 
ceive? How can we doubt, says St. Augustine, since God 
has bound himself by express promise, and cannot fail to 
grant us the favors we ask of him? "By promising he 
has made himself our debtor." 1 In recommending our 
selves to God, we must have a sure confidence that God 
hears us, and then we shall obtain whatever we want. 
Behold what Jesus Christ says: All things, whatsoever you 
ask when ye pray, believe that you shall receive, and they shall 
come unto you* 

" But," some one may say, " I am a sinner, and do not 
deserve to be heard." But Jesus Christ says: Every one 
that asketh, receivcth? Every one, be he just, or be he a 
sinner. St. Thomas teaches us that the efficacy of prayer 
to obtain graces does not depend on our merits, but on 
the mercy of God, who has promised to hear every one 
who prays to him. 6 And our Redeemer, in order to re 
move from us all fear when we pray, said: Amen, amen, I 
say to you, if you shall ask the Father anything in My name, 
He will give it you? As though he would say: Sinners, 

1 " Deus, in adjutorium meum intende; Domine, ad adjuvandum me 
festina." Ps. Ixix. 2. 

2 " Petite, et accipietis." Joint, xvi. 24. 

3 " Promittendo, debitorem se fecit." Serm. no, E. B. 

4 " Omnia quaecumque orantes petitis, credite quia accipietis, et eve- 
nient vobis." Mark, xi. 24. 

6 " Omnis qui petit, accipit." Luke, xi. TO. 

" Oratio in impetrando non inniiitur merito, sed divinae miseri- 
cordiae." 2. 2, q. 178, a. 2. 

" Amen, amen, dico vobis: si quid petieritis Patrem in nomine 
meo, dabit vobis." John, xvi. 23. 

356 Practice of the Love of Jesus CJirist. 

you have no merits of your own to obtain graces, 
wherefore do in this manner; when you would obtain 
graces, ask them of my Father in my name; that is, 
through my merits and through my love; and then ask 
as many as you choose, and they shall be granted to you. 
But let us mark well those words, " In My name;" which 
signify (as St. Thomas explains it), " in the name of the 
Saviour;" or, in other words, that the graces which we 
ask must be graces which regard our eternal salvation; 
and consequently we must remark that the promise does 
not regard temporal favors; these our Lord grants, when 
they are profitable for our eternal welfare; if they would 
prove otherwise, he refuses them. So that we should 
always ask for temporal favors, on condition that they 
will benefit our soul. But should they be spiritual 
graces, then they require no condition; but with confi 
dence, and a sure confidence, we should say: "Eternal 
Father, in the name of Jesus Christ deliver me from this 
temptation: grant me holy perseverance, grant me Thy 
love, grant me heaven." We can likewise ask these 
graces of Jesus Christ in his own name; that is, by his 
merits, since we have his promise also to this effect: If 
you shall ask Me anything in My name, that I will do. 1 

And whilst we pray to God, let us not forget to recom 
mend ourselves at the same time to Mary, the dispenser 
of graces. St. Bernard says, that it is Almighty God 
who bestows the graces; but he bestows them through 
the hands of Mary: "Let us seek grace, and let us seek 
it through Mary; because what she seeks she finds, and 
cannot be refused." 2 If Mary prays for us, we are safe; 
for every petition of Mary is heard, and she can never 
meet with a repulse. 

1 " Si quid petieritis me in nomine meo, hoc faciam." John, xiv. 

2 " Quseramus gratiam, et per Mariam quaeramus; quia, quod quse- 
rit, invenit, et frustrari non potest." De Aquced. 

CHAP, iv.] Remedies against Lukewarmness. 357 

Affections and Prayers. 

O Jesus, my love, I am determined to love Thee as much as I 
can, and I wish to become a saint ; and I wish to become a saint 
for this reason, in order to give Thee pleasure, and to love Thee 
exceedingly in this life and the next ! I can do nothing of 
myself, but Thou canst do all things ; and I know that Thou 
wishest me to become a saint. I see already that by Thy g*race 
my soul sighs only for Thee, and seeks nothing else but Thee. 
I wish to live no more for myself ; Thou desirest me to be wholly 
Thine, and I desire to be wholly Thine. Come, and unite me to 
Thyself, and Thyself to me. Thou art infinite goodness; Thou 
art he who hast loved me so much ; Thou art, indeed, too lov 
ing and too lovely ; how, then, can I love anything but Thee? 
I prefer Thy love before all the things of this world ; Thou art 
the sole object, the sole end of all my affections. I leave all to 
be occupied solely in loving Thee, my Redeemer, my Com 
forter, my hope, my love, and my all. I will not despair of be 
coming a saint on account of the sins of my past life ; for I 
know, my Jesus, that Thou didst die in order to pardon the 
truly penitent. I love Thee now with my whole heart, with my 
whole soul ; I love Thee more than myself, and I bewail, above 
every other evil, ever having had the misfortune to despise Thee, 
my sovereign good. Now 1 am no longer my own, I am Thine ; 

God of my heart, dispose of me as Thou pleasest. In order to 
please Thee, I accept of all the tribulations Thou mayest choose 
to send me sickness, sorrow, troubles, ignominies, poverty, per 
secution, desolation I accept all to please Thee : in like manner 

1 accept of the death Thou hast decreed for me, with all the an 
guish and crosses which may accompany it: it is enough if 
Thou grantest me the grace to love Thee exceedingly. Lend 
me Thy assistance ; give me strength henceforth to compensate, 
by my love, for all the bitterness that I have caused Thee in 
past time, O only love of my soul ! 

O Queen of Heaven, O Mother of God, O great advocate of 
sinners, I trust in thee ! 

358 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 


(Charitas non inflatur?) 

He that loves Jesus Christ is not vain of his own Worth, but 
humbles himself, and is glad to be humbled by Others. 

A PROUD person is like a balloon filled with air, which 
seems, indeed, great; but whose greatness, in reality, is 
nothing more than a little air; which, as soon as the bal 
loon is opened, is quickly dispersed. He who loves God 
is humble, and is not elated at seeing any worth in him 
self; because he knows that whatever he possesses is the 
gift of God, and that of his own he has only nothingness 
and sin; so that this knowledge of the divine favors be 
stowed on him humbles him the more; whilst he is con 
scious of being so unworthy, and yet so favored by God. 

St. Teresa says, in speaking of the especial favors she 
received from God: " God does with me as they do with 
a house, which, when about to fall, they prop up with 
supports." When a soul receives a loving visit from 
God, and feels within herself an unwonted fervor of 
divine love, accompanied w r ith tears, or with a great ten 
derness of heart, let her beware of supposing that God 
so favors her, in reward for some good action; but let 
her then humble herself the more, concluding that God 
caresses her in order that she may not forsake him; 
otherwise, were she to make such favors the subject of 
vain complacency, imagining herself more privileged, 
because she receives greater gifts from God than others, 
such a fault would induce God to deprive her of his 
favors. Two things are chiefly requisite for the stabil 
ity of a house the foundation and the roof; the founda 

CHAP, v.] Humility. 359 

tion in us must be humility, in acknowledging ourselves 
good for nothing, and capable of nothing; and the roof 
is the divine assistance, in which alone we ought to put 
all our trust. 

Whenever we behold ourselves unusually, favored by 
God, we must humble ourselves the more. When St. 
Teresa received any special favor, she used to strive to 
place before her eyes all the faults she had ever com 
mitted; and thus the Lord received her into closer union 
with himself: the more a soul confesses herself undeserv 
ing of any favors, the more God enriches her with his 
graces. Thais, who was first a sinner and then a saint, 
humbled herself so profoundly before God that she dared 
not even mention his name; so that she had not the 
courage to say, " My God;" but she said, "My Creator, 
have mercy on me!" And St. Jerome writes, that in 
recompense for such humility, she saw a glorious throne 
prepared for her in heaven. In the life of St. Margaret 
of Cortona we read the same thing; that, when our Lord 
visited her one day with greater tokens of tenderness 
and love, she exclaimed: " But, O Lord, hast Thou then 
forgotten what I have been ? Is it possible that Thou 
canst repay all my outrages against Thee with so exqui 
site sweetness?" And God replied, that when a soul loves 
him, and cordially repents of having offended him, he 
forgets all her past infidelities; as, indeed, he formerly 
spoke by the mouth of Ezechiel: But if the wicked do pen 
ance . . . . I will not remember all his iniquities? And in 
proof of this, he showed her a high throne, which he had 
prepared for her in heaven in the midst of the seraphim. 
Oh, that we could only well comprehend the value of 
humility ! A single act of humility is worth more than 
all the riches of the universe. 

" Qui plasmasti me, miserere mei." Vitic Patr. 1. i. 
2 " Si autem impius egerit poenitentiam, . . . omnium iniquitatum 
ejus, quas operatus est, non recordabor." Ezech, xviii. 21, 22. 

360 Practice of the Love of Jcsns t/irist. 

It was the saying of St. Teresa, " Think not that thou 
hast advanced far in perfection, till thou considerest thy 
self the worst of all, and desirest to be placed below 
all." And on this maxim the saint acted, and so have 
done all the. saints; St. Francis of Assisi, St. Mary Mag 
dalene of Pazzi, and the rest, considered themselves the 
greatest sinners in the world, and were surprised that the 
earth sheltered them, and did not rather open under 
their feet to swallow them up alive; and they expressed 
themselves to this effect with the sincerest conviction, 
The Venerable Father John of Avila, who, from his 
earliest infancy had led a holy life, was on his deathbed; 
and the priest who came to attend him said many sub 
lime things to him, taking him for what indeed he was, 
a great servant of God and a learned man; but Father 
Avila thus spoke to him: "Father, I pray yon to make 
the recommendation of my soul, as of the soul of a crim 
inal condemned to death; for such I am." This is the 
opinion which saints entertain of themselves in life and 

We, too, must act in this manner, if we would save our 
souls, and keep ourselves in the grace of God till death, 
reposing all our confidence in God alone. The proud 
man relies on his own strength, and falls on that account; 
but the humble man, by placing all his trust in God 
alone, stands firm and falls not, however violent and 
multiplied the temptations may be; for his watchword 
is: I can do all things in Him that strengtheneth me. 1 The 
devil at one time tempts us to presumption, at another 
time to diffidence; whenever he suggests to us that we 
are in no danger of falling, then we should tremble the 
more; for were God but for ,an instant to withdraw his 
grace from us, we are lost. When, again, he tempts us 
to diffidence, then let us turn to God, and thus address 
him with great confidence: /;/ Thee, O Lord, have I hoped, 
1 " Omnia possum in eo qui me confortat." Phil. iv. 13. 

CHAP, v.i Humility. 361 

I shall never be confounded? My God, in Thee I have put 
all my hopes; I hope never to meet with confusion, nor 
to be bereft of Thy grace. We ought to exercise our 
selves continually, even to the very last moments of our 
life, in these acts of diffidence in ourselves and of confi 
dence in God, always beseeching God to grant us hu 

But it is not enough, in order to be humble, to have 
a lowly opinion of ourselves, and to consider ourselves 
the miserable beings that we really are; the man who is 
truly humble, says Thomas a Kempis, 2 despises himself, 
and wishes also to be despised by others. This is what 
Jesus Christ so earnestly recommends us to practise, 
after his example: Learn of Me, because I am meek and 
humble of heart* Whoever styles himself the greatest 
sinner in the world, and then is angry when others de 
spise him, plainly shows humility of tongue, but not of 
heart. St. Thomas Aquinas says, that a person who re 
sents being slighted may be certain that he is far distant 
from perfection, even though he should work miracles. 
The divine Mother sent St. IgnatiiTs Loyola from heaven 
to instruct St. Mary Magdalene of Pazzi in humility; 
and behold the lesson which the saint gave her: " Hu 
mility is a gladness at whatever leads us to despise our 
selves." Mark well, a gladness; if the feelings are 
stirred with resentment at the contempt we receive, at 
least let us be glad in spirit. 

And how is it possible for a soul not to love contempt, 
if she loves Jesus Christ, and beholds how her God was 
buffeted and spit upon, and how he suffered in his Pas 
sion ! Then did they spit in His face and buffeted Him ; and 

1 " In te, Domine, speravi; non confundar in aeternum." Ps. 

XXX. 2. 

2 Imit. Chr. B. 3, c. 7. 

3 " Discite a me, quia mitis sum et humilis corde." Matt. xi. 29. 

4 Cepar. c. 1 1. 

362 Practice of. the Love of Jesus Christ. 

others struck His face with the palms of their hands. 1 For 
this purpose our Redeemer wishes us to keep his image 
exposed on our altars, not indeed representing him in 
glory, but nailed to the cross, that we might have his 
ignominies constantly before our eyes; a sight which 
made the saints rejoice at being vilified in this world. 
And such was the prayer which St. John of the Cross 
addressed to Jesus Christ, when he appeared to him 
with the cross upon his shoulders: "O Lord, let me 
suffer, and be despised for Thee!" 2 My Lord, on be 
holding Thee so reviled for my love, I only ask of Thee 
to let me suffer and be despised for Thy love. 

St. Francis de Sales said, 3 " To support injuries is the 
touchstone of humility and of true virtue." If a person 
pretending to spirituality practises prayer, frequent 
Communion, fasts, and mortifies himself, and yet cannot 
put up with an affront, or a biting word, of what is it a 
sign? It is a sign that he is a hollow cane, without hu 
mility and without virtue. And what indeed can a soul 
do that loves Jesus Christ, if she is unable to endure a 
slight for the love of Jesus Christ, who has endured so 
much for her? Thomas a. Kempis, in his golden little 
book of the Imitation of Christ, writes as follows: 
" Since you have such an abhorrence of being humbled, 
it is a sign that you are not dead to the world, have no 
humility, and that you do not keep God before your 
eyes. He that has not God before his eyes, is disturbed 
at every syllable of censure that he hears." A Thou canst 
not endure cuffs and blows for God; endure at least a 
passing word. 

Oh, what surprise and scandal does that person occa- 

1 " Tune exspuerunt in faciem ejus, et colaphis eum ceciderunt; alii 
autem palmas in faciem ejus dederunt." Matt. xxvi. 67. 

2 " Domine, pati et contemni pro te." 

3 Spirit, ch, TO. 

4 Imit. Chr. B 3, c. 46. 

CHAP, v.] Humility. 363 

sion, who communicates often, and then is ready to re 
sent every little word of contempt ! On the contrary, 
what edification does a soul give that answers contempts 
with words of mildness, spoken in order to conciliate the 
offender; or perhaps makes no reply at all, nor com 
plains of it to others, but continues with placid looks, 
and without showing the least sign of indignation ! St. 
John Chrysostom says, that a meek person is not only 
serviceable to himself but likewise to others, by the good 
example he sets them of meekness in bearing contempt: 
"The meek man is useful to himself and to others. 91 
Thomas a Kempis mentions, with regard to this subject, 
several things in which we should practise humility; he 
says as follows: "What others say shall command an 
attentive hearing, and what you say shall be taken no 
notice of. Others shall make a request and obtain it; 
you shall ask for something and meet with a refusal. 
Others shall be magnified in the mouths of men, and on 
you no one shall bestow a word. Such and such an 
office shall be conferred on others, but you shall be 
passed by as unfit for anything. With such like trials 
the Lord is wont to prove his faithful servant; and to 
see how far he has learned to overcome himself and to 
hold his peace. Nature, indeed, will at times not like it; 
but you will derive immense profit thereby, if you sup 
port all in silence." 2 

It was a saying of St. Jane of Chantal, that "a person 
who is truly humble takes occasion from receiving some 
humiliation to humble himself the more." : Yes, for he 
who is truly humble never supposes himself humb.ed as 
much as he deserves. Those who behave in this manner 
are styled blessed by Jesus Christ. They are not called 
blessed who are esteemed by the world, who are honored 

1 " Mansuetus utilis ?ibi et aliis." In Act. horn. 6. 

2 //////. Ch>\ B. 3, c. 49. 

3 Marsol. 1. 4, ch. 8. 

364 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

and praised, as noble, as learned, as powerful; but they 
who are spoken ill of by the world, who are persecuted 
and calumniated; for it is for such that a glorious re 
ward is prepared in heaven, if they only bear all with 
patience: Blessed are you when they shall revile you and per 
secute you, and speak all that is evil against you iintriily for 
My sake : be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great 
in heaven? 

The grand occasion for practising humility is when 
we receive correction for some fault from Superiors or 
from others. Some people resemble the hedgehog: 
they seem all calmness and meekness as long as they 
remain untouched; but no sooner does a Superior or a 
friend touch them, by an observation on something 
which they have done imperfectly, than they forthwith 
become all prickles, and answer warmly, that so and so 
is not true, or that they were right in doing so, or that 
such a correction is quite uncalled for. In a word, to 
rebuke them is to become their enemy; they behave like 
a person who raves at the surgeon for paining them in 
the cure of their wounds. " He is angry with the sur 
geon," 2 writes St. Bernard. "When the virtuous and 
humble man is corrected for a fault," says St. John 
Chrysostom, "he grieves for having committed it; the 
proud man on the other hand, on receiving correction, 
grieves also; but he grieves that his fault is detected; 
and on this account he is troubled, gives answers, and is 
angry with the person who corrects him." This is the 
golden rule given by St. Philip Neri, to be observed 
with regard to receiving correction: "Whoever would 
really become a saint must never excuse himself, al 
though what is laid to his charge be not true." : And 

1 " Beati estis, cum maledixerint vobis, et persecpti vos fuerint, et 
dixerint omne malum adversum vos mentientes, propter me; gaudete 
et exultate, quoniam merces vestracopiosaest in coelis." Matt. v. n. 

2 " Medicanti irascitur." In Cant. s. 42. 

3 Sacci, 1. 2, ch. 17. 

CHAP, v.] Humility. 365 

there is only one case to be excepted from this rule, and 
that is when self-defence may appear necessary to pre 
vent scandal. Oh, what merit with God has that soul 
that is wrongfully reprehended, and yet keeps silence, 
and refrains from defending itself! St. Teresa said: 
" There are occasions when a soul makes more progress 
and acquires a greater degree of perfection by refrain 
ing from excusing herself than by listening to ten ser 
mons; because by not excusing herself she begins to 
obtain freedom of spirit, and to be heedless whether the 
world speaks well or ill of her." 

Affections and Prayers. 

O Incarnate Word! I entreat Thee, by the merits of Thy 
holy humility, which led Thee to embrace so many ignominies 
and injuries for our love, deliver me from all pride, and grant 
me a share of Thy humility. And what right have I to com 
plain of any affront whatever that may be offered me, after 
having so often deserved hell ? O my Jesus, by the merit of all 
the scorn and affronts endured for me in Thy Passion, grant 
me the grace to live and die humbled on this earth, as Thou 
didst live and die humbled for my sake. For Thy love I would 
willingly be despised and forsaken by all the world ; but without 
Thee I can do nothing. I love Thee, O my sovereign good ; I 
love Thee, O beloved of my soul ! I love Thee ; and I hope, 
through Thee, to fulfil my purpose of suffering all for Thee, 
affronts, betrayals, persecutions, afflictions, dryness, and desola 
tion ; enough is it for me if Thou dost not forsake me, O sole 
object of the love of my soul. Suffer me never more to estrange 
myself from Thee. Enkindle in me the desire to please Thee. 
Grant me fervor in loving Thee. Give me peace of mind in 
suffering for Thee. Give me resignation in all contradictions. 
Have mercy on me. I deserve nothing; but I fix all my hopes 
in Thee, who hast purchased me with Thine own blood. 

And I hope all from thee, too, O my Queen and my Mother 
Mary, who art the refuge of sinners! 

1 Way of Perf. ch. 16. 

366 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 



(Charitas non est ambitiosa. ) 
He that loves Jesus Christ desires Nothing but Jesus Christ. 

HE that loves God does not desire to be esteemed and 
loved by his fellow-men: the single desire of his heart is 
to enjoy the favor of Almighty God, who alone forms 
the object of his love. St. Hilary writes, that all honor 
paid by the world is the business of the devil. 1 And so 
it is; for the enemy traffics for hell, when he infects the 
soul with the desire of esteem; because, by thus laying 
aside humility, she runs great risks of plunging into 
every vice. St. James writes, that as God confers his 
graces with open hands upon the humble, so does he 
close them against the proud, whom he resists. God re 
sists the proud, and gives His grace to the humble? He says 
he resists the proud, signifying that he does not even 
listen to their prayers. And certainly, among the acts 
of pride we may reckon the desire to be honored by 
men, and self-exaltation at receiving honors from them. 

We have a frightful example of this in the history of 
Brother Justin the Franciscan, who had even risen to a 
lofty state of contemplation; but because perhaps and 
indeed without a perhaps he nourished within himself 
a desire of human esteem, behold what befell him. One 
day Pope Eugenius IV. sent for him; and on account of 
the great opinion he had of his sanctity, showed him 

1 " Omnis saeculi honor diaboli negotium est." In Matt. c. 3, n. 5. 

2 " Deus superbis resistit; humilibus autem dat gratiam." James, 
iv. 6- 

CHAP, vi.] Vainglory. 367 

peculiar marks of honor, embraced him, and made him 
sit by his side. Such high honors filled Brother Justin 
full of self-conceit; on which St. John Capistran said to 
him, " Alas, Brother Justin, thou didst leave us an angel, 
and thou returnest a devil !" And in fact, the hapless 
Brother becoming daily more and more puffed up with 
arrogance, and insisting on being treated according to 
his own estimate of himself, he at last murdered a 
brother with a knife; he afterwards became an apostate, 
and fled into the kingdom of Naples, where he perpe 
trated other atrocities; and there he died in prison, an 
apostate to the last. 

Hence it is that a certain great servant of God wisely 
said, that when we hear or read of the fall of some tow 
ering cedars of Libanus, of a Solomon, a Tertullian, an 
Osius, who had all the reputation of saints, it is a sign 
that they were not given wholly to God; but nourished 
inwardly some spirit of pride and so fell away. Let us 
therefore tremble, when we feel arise within us an am 
bition to appear in public, and to be esteemed by the 
world; and when the world pays us some tribute of 
honor, let us beware of taking complacency in it, which 
might prove the cause of our utter ruin. 

Let us especially be on our guard against all ambi 
tious seeking of preference, and sensibility in points of 
honor. St. Teresa said, "Where punctiliousness pre 
vails, there spirituality will never prevail." Many per 
sons make profession of a spiritual life, but they are 
worshippers of self. They have the semblance of cer 
tain virtues, but they are ambitious of being praised in 
all their undertakings ; and if nobody else praises them, 
they praise themselves : in short, they strive to appeal- 
better than others ; and if their honor be touched, they 
lose their peace, they leave off Holy Communion, they 

Way of Per f. ch. 13. 

368 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

omit all their devotions, and find no rest till they imag 
ine they have got back their former standing. The true 
lovers of God do not so behave. They not only care 
fully shun every word of self-esteem and all self-com 
placency, but, further, they are sorry at hearing them 
selves commended by others, arid their gladness is to 
behold themselves held in small repute by the rest ot 

The saying of St. Francis of Assisi is most true : 
"What I am before God, that I am." Of what use is it 
to pass for great in the eyes of the world, if before God 
we be vile and worthless? And on- the contrary, what 
matters it to be despised by the world, provided we be 
dear and acceptable in the eyes of God ? St. Augustine 
thus writes: "The approbation of him who praises 
neither heals a bad conscience, nor does the reproach of 
one who blames wound a good conscience." 1 As the 
man who praises us cannot deliver us from the chastise 
ment of our evil doings, so neither can he who blames us 
rob us of the merit of our good actions. " What does it 
matter," says St. Teresa, 4< though we be condemned and 
reviled by creatures, if before Thee, O God! we are great 
and without blame ?" The saints had no other desire 
than to live unknown, and to pass for contemptible in 
the estimation of all. Thus writes St. Francis de Sales : 
" But what wrong do we suffer when people have a bad 
opinion of us, since we ought to have such of ourselves ? 
Perhaps we know that we are bad, and yet wish to pass 
off for good in the estimation of others." 2 

Oh, what security is found in the hidden life for such 
as wish cordially to love Jesus Christ \ Jesus Christ him 
self set us the example, by living hidden and despised 
for thirty years in a workshop. And with the same view 

1 " Nee malam conscientiam sanat laudantis praeconium, nee bonam 
vulnerat conviciantis opprobrium." Contra Petil. 1. 3, c. 7. 

2 Spirit, ch. 3. 

CHAP, vi.] Vainglory. 369 

of escaping the esteem of men, the saints went and hid 
themselves in deserts and in caves. It was said by St. 
Vincent of Paul, 1 that a love of appearing in public, and 
of being spoken of in terms of praise, and of hearing our 
conduct commended, or that people should say that we 
succeed admirably and work wonders, is an evil which, 
while it makes us unmindful of God, contaminates our 
best actions, and proves the most fatal drawback to the 
spiritual life. 

Whoever, therefore, would make progress in the love 
of Jesus Christ, must absolutely give a death-blow to the 
love of self-esteem. But how shall we inflict this blow? 
Behold how St. Mary Magdalene of Pazzi instructs us : 
" That which, keeps alive the appetite for self-esteem is 
the occupying a favorable position in the minds of all; 
consequently the death of self-esteem is to keep one s 
self hidden, so as not to be known to any one. And till 
we learn to die in this manner, we shall never be true 
servants of God. " a 

In order, then, to be pleasing in the sight of God, we 
must avoid all ambition of appearing and of making a 
parade in the eyes of men. And we must shun with 
still greater caution the ambition of governing others. 
Sooner than behold this accursed ambition set foot in 
the convent, St. Teresa 3 declared she would prefer to 
have the whole convent burned, and all the nuns with it. 
So that she signified her wish, that if ever one of her 
religious should be caught aiming at the Superiorship, 
she should be expelled from the community, or at least 
undergo perpetual confinement. St. Mary Magdalene 
of Pazzi said, "The honor of a spiritual person consists 
in being put below all, and in abhorring all superiority 
over others. The ambition of a soul that loves God 
should be to excel all others in humility, according to 

1 Abelly, 1. 3, ch. 34, 48. 2 Cepar. c. 13. 3 Way of Perf. ch. 8. 


370 Practice of tJic Love of Jes2is Christ. 

the counsel of St. Paul : /;/ humility let each esteem others 
better than themselves." 1 In a word, he that loves God 
must make God the sole object of his ambition. 

Affections and Prayers. 

My Jesus, grant me the ambition of pleasing Thee, and make 
me forget all creatures and myself also. What will it profit me 
to be loved by the whole world, if I be not loved by Thee, the 
only love of my soul ! My Jesus, Thou earnest into the world 
to win our hearts ; if I am unable to give Thee my heart, do 
Thou please to take it and replenish it with Thy love, and never 
allow me to be separated from Thee any more. I have, alas ! 
turned my back upon Thee in the past ; but now that I am con 
scious of the evil I have done, I grieve over it with my whole 
heart, and no affliction in the world can so distress me, as the 
remembrance of the offences that I have so often committed 
against Thee. I am consoled to think that Thou art infinite 
goodness, that Thou dost not disdain to love a sinner who loves 
Thee. My beloved Redeemer, O sweetest love of my soul, I 
have heretofore slighted Thee ; but now at least I love Thee 
more than myself ! I offer Thee myself and all that belongs to 
me. I have only the one wish to love Thee, and to please Thee. 
This forms all my ambition ; accept of it, and be pleased to 
increase it, and exterminate in me all desire of earthly goods. 
Thou art indeed deserving of love, and great indeed are my 
obligations of loving Thee. Behold me then, I wish to be 
wholly Thine ; and I will suffer whatever Thou pleasest, Thou 
who for love of me didst die of sorrow on the cross ! Thou 
wishest me to be a saint ; Thou canst make me a saint; in Thee 
I place my trust. 

And I also confide in thy protection, O Mary, great Mother 
of God ! 

1 " In humiliiate superiores." Phil. ii. 3. 

CHAP, vii.] Detachment. 371 


(Char Has non quarit qua sua stint. ) 

He that loveth Jesus Christ seeks to detach Himself from 
every Creature. 

WHOEVER desires to love Jesus Christ with his whole 
heart must banish from his heart all that is not God, but 
is merely self-love. This is the meaning of those words, 
" seeketh not her own;" not to seek ourselves, but only 
what pleaseth God. And this is what God requires of us 
all, when he says: Thou shalt love the Lord tJiy God with thy 
whole heart. 1 Two things are needful to love God with 
our whole heart: i. To clear it of earth. 2. To fill it 
with holy love. It follows, that a heart in which any 
earthly affections linger can never belong wholly to God. 
St. Philip Neri 2 said, " that as much love as we bestow 
on the creature, is so much taken from the Creator." In 
the next place, how must the earth be purged away from 
the heart ? Truly by mortification and detachment from 
creatures. Some souls complain that they seek God, and 
do not find him; let them listen to what St. Teresa says: 
"Wean your heart from creatures, and seek God, and 
you will find him." 3 

The mistake is, that some indeed wish to become 
saints, but after their own fashion ; they would love 
Jesus Christ, but in their own way, without forsaking 
those diversions, that vanity of dress, those delicacies in 
food : they love God, but if they do not succeed in ob- 

1 " Diliges Dominum Deum tunm ex totocorde tuo." Matf.xxn. 37. 
* l Bacci, \. 22, ch. 15. 
3 Avis 36. 

37 2 Practice of the Love of Jesus CJirist. 

taining such or such an office, they live discontented; if, 
too, they happen to be touched in point of esteem, they 
are all on fire; if they do not recover from an illness, 
they lose all patience. They love God; but they refuse 
to let go that attachment for the riches, the honors of 
the world, for the vainglory of being reckoned of good 
family, of great learning, and better than others. Such 
as these practise prayer, and frequent Holy Commun 
ion; but inasmuch as they take with them hearts full of 
earth, they derive little profit. Our Lord does not even 
speak to them, for he knows that it is but a waste of 
words. In fact, he said as much to St. Teresa on a cer 
tain occasion: "I would speak to many souls, but the 
world keeps up such a noise about their ears, that my 
voice would never be heard by them. Oh, that they 
would retire a little from the world !" Whosoever, then, 
is full of earthly affections cannot even so much as hear 
the voice of God that speaks to him. But unhappy the 
man that continues attached to the sensible goods of this 
earth; he may easily become so blinded by them as one 
day to quit the love of Jesus Christ ; and for want of 
forsaking these transitory goods he may lose God, the 
infinite good, forever. St. Teresa said: " It is a reasona 
ble consequence, that he who runs after perishable goods 
should himself perish." 

St. Augustine ! informs us that Tiberius Caesar de 
sired that the Roman senate should enrol Jesus Christ 
among the rest of their gods; but the senate refused to 
do so, on the ground that he was too proud a God, and 
would be worshipped alone without any companions. 
It is quite true : God will be alone the object of our ad 
oration and love; not indeed from pride, but because it 
is his just due, and because too of the love he bears us. 
For as he himself loves us exceedingly, he desires in re- 

1 De Cons. Evang. 1. I, c. 12.. 

CHAP, vii.] Detachment. 373 

turn all our love ; and is therefore jealous of any one 
else sharing the affections of our hearts, of which he de 
sires to be the sole possessor: " Jesus is a jealous lover," 1 
says St. Jerome; and he is unwilling therefore for us to 
fix our affections on anything but himself. And when 
ever he beholds any created object taking a share of our 
hearts, he looks on it as it were with jealousy, as the 
Apostle St. James says, because he will not endure a 
rival, but will remain the sole object of all our love: Do 
you think that the Scripture saith in vain: To envy doth the 
Spirit covet which dwelleth in you ? 2 The Lord in the 
sacred Canticles praises his spouse, saying: My sister, 
my spouse, is a garden enclosed? He call her u a garden 
enclosed," because the soul that is his spouse keeps her 
heart shut against every earthly love, in order to preserve 
all for Jesus Christ alone. And does Jesus Christ per 
chance not deserve all our love? Ah, too much, too 
much has he deserved it, both for his own goodness and 
for his love towards us. The saints knew this well, and 
for this reason St. Francis de Sales said: "Were I con 
scious of one fibre in my heart that did not belong to 
God, I would forthwith tear it out." 

David longed to have wings free from all lime of 
worldly affections, in order to fly away and repose in 
God : Who will give me wings like a dove, and I will fly 
and be at rest ? & Many souls would wish to see them 
selves released from every earthly trammel to fly to God, 
and would in reality make lofty flights in the way of 
sanctity, if they would but detach themselves from 

1 " Zelotypus est Jesus." Ep. ad Etist. 

" An putatis quoniam inaniter Scriptura dicat : Ad invidiam con- 
cupiscit Spiritus qui habitat in vobis ?" James, iv. 5. 

" Hortus conclusus soror mea, Sponsa." Cant. iv. 12. 
4 Spirit, ch. 9. 

" Quis dabit mihi pennas sicut columbse, et volabo, et requies- 
cam ?" Ps. liv. 7. 

374 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

everything in this world; but whereas they retain some 
little inordinate affection, and will not use violence with 
themselves to get rid of it, they remain always languish 
ing on in their misery, without ever so much as lifting a 
foot from the ground. St. John of the Cross said: " The 
soul that remains with her affections attached to any 
thing, however small, will, notwithstanding many virtues 
which she may possess, never arrive at divine union; for 
it signifies little whether the bird be tied by a slight 
thread or a thick one; since, however slight it may be, 
provided she does not break it, she remains always 
bound, and unable to fly. Oh, what a pitiful thing it is 
to see certain souls, rich in spiritual exercises, in virtues 
and divine favors; yet, because they are not bold enough 
to break off some trifling attachment, they cannot attain 
to divine union, for which it only needed one strong and 
resolute flight to break effectually that fatal thread ! 
Since, when once the soul is emptied of all affection to 
creatures, God cannot help communicating himself 
wholly to her." 

He who would possess God entirely must give himself 
up entirely to God: My beloved to me and I to him? says 
the Sacred Spouse. My beloved has given himself en 
tirely to me, and I give myself entirely to him. The 
love which Jesus Christ bears us causes him to desire 
all our love; and without all he is not satisfied. On this 
account we find St. Teresa thus writing to the Prioress 
of one of her convents: " Endeavor to train souls to a 
total detachment from everything created, because they 
are to be trained for the spouses of a king so jealous, 
that he would have them even forget themselves." St. 
Mary Magdalene of Pazzi took a little book of devotion 
from one of her novices, merely because she observed 
that she was too much attached to it. Many souls ac- 

1 Montce chi C. 1. I. ch. n. 

a " Dilectus metis mihi, et ego illi." Cant. ii. 16. 

CHAP, vii.] Detachment. 375 

quit themselves of the duty of prayer, of visiting the 
Blessed Sacrament, of frequenting Holy Communion; 
but nevertheless they make little or no progress in per 
fection, and all because they keep some fondness for 
something in their heart ; and if they persist in living 
thus, they will not only be always miserable, but run 
the risk of losing all. 

We must, therefore, beseech Almighty God, with Da 
vid, to rid our heart of all earthly attachments: Create a 
clean heart in me, O God. 1 Otherwise we can never be 
wholly his. He has given us to understand very plainly, 
that whoever will not renounce everything in this world, 
cannot be his disciple: Every one of you that doth not re 
nounce all that he possesseth cannot be my disciple? For this 
reason the ancient Fathers of the desert were accus 
tomed first to put this question to any youth who desired 
to associate himself with them : " Dost thou bring an 
empty heart, that the Holy Spirit may fill it?" Our 
Lord said the same thing to St. Gertrude, when she be 
sought him to signify what he wished of her: " I wish 
nothing else, he said, but to find a heart devoid of crea 
tures." 3 We must therefore say to God with great res 
olution and courage: O Lord, I prefer Thee to all ; to 
health, to riches, to honors and dignities, to applause, to 
learning, to consolations, to high hopes, to desires, and 
even to the very graces and gifts which I may receive of 
Thee ! In short, I prefer Thee to every created good 
which is not Thee, O my God. Whatever benefit Thou 
grantest me, O my God, nothing besides Thyself will 
satisfy me. I desire Thee alone, and nothing else. 

When the heart is detached from creatures, the divine 
love immediately enters and fills it. Moreover, St. Ter- 

1 " Cor mundum crea in me, Dens." Ps. 1. 12. 

* " Qui non renuntiat omnibus quae possidet, non potest meiis esse 
dtscipulus." Luke, xiv. 33. 

:; Insin. 1. 4, c. 26. 

376 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

esa said: "As soon as evil occasions are removed, the 
heart forthwith turns herself to love God/ Yes, for the 
human heart cannot exist without loving ; it must either 
love the Creator or creatures: if it does not love crea 
tures, then assuredly it will love God. In short, we 
must leave all in order to gain all. " All for all," l says 
Thomas a Kempis. As long as St. Teresa cherished a cer 
tain affection, though pure, towards one of her relatives, 
she did not wholly belong to God; but when afterwards 
she summoned courage, and resolutely cut off the at 
tachment, then she deserved to hear these words from 
Jesus: "Now, Teresa, thou art all mine, and I am all 
thine." * One heart is quite too small to love this God, 
so loving and so lovely, and who merits an infinite love; 
and shall we then think of dividing this one little heart 
between creatures and God ? The Venerable Louis da 
Ponte felt ashamed to speak thus to God: "O Lord, I 
love Thee above all things, above riches, honors, friends, 
relatives;" for it seemed to him as much as to say: "O 
Lord, I love Thee more than dirt, than smoke, and the 
worms of the earth ! " 

The Prophet Jeremias says, that the Lord is all good 
ness towards him who seeks him : The Lord is good to 
the soul that seeketh him? But he understands it of a 
soul that seeks God alone. O blessed loss ! O blessed 
gain ! to lose worldly goods, which cannot satisfy the 
heart and are soon gone, in order to obtain the sovereign 
and eternal good, which is God ! It is related that a 
pious hermit, one day while the king was hunting 
through the wood, began to run to and fro as if in 
search of something ; the king, observing him thus oc 
cupied, inquired of him who he was and what he was 
doing; the hermit replied: " And may I ask your majesty 

1 "Totum pro toto." Imit. Chr. B. 3, c. 37. 

2 Life, ch. 39. 

** " Bonus est Dominus . . animse quaerenti ilium." Lam. iii. 25. 

CHAP, vii.] Detachment. 377 

what you are engaged about in this desert ?" The king 
made answer: "I am going in pursuit of game." And 
the hermit replied: " I, too, am going in pursuit of God." 
With these words he continued his road and went away. 
During the present life this must likewise be our only 
thought, our only purpose, to go in search of God in or 
der to love him, and in search of his will in order to ful 
fil it, ridding our heart of all love of creatures. And 
whenever some worldly good would present itself to our 
imaginations to solicit our love, let us be ready prepared 
with this answer: " I have despised the kingdom of this 
world, and all the charms of this life, for the sake of the 
love of my Lord Jesus Christ." And what else are all 
the dignities and grandeurs of this w r orld but smoke, 
filth, and vanity, which all disappear at death ? Blessed 
he who can say: "My Jesus, I have left all for Thy love; 
Thou art my only love; Thou alone art sufficient for 

Ah, when once the love of God takes full possession 
of a soul, she of her own accord (supposing always, of 
course, the assistance of divine grace) strives to divest 
herself of everything that could prove a hindrance to her 
belonging wholly to God. St. Francis de Sales remarks 
that when a house catches fire, all the furniture is thrown 
out of the window; 2 meaning thereby, that when a per 
son gives himself entirely to God, he needs no persuasion 
of preachers or confessors, but of his own accord seeks 
to get rid of every earthly affection. Father Segneri 
the younger called divine love a robber, which happily 
despoils us of all, that we may come into possession of 
God alone. A certain man, of respectable position in 
life, having renounced everything in order to become 
poor for the love of Jesus Christ, was questioned by a 

1 " Regnum mundi et omnem ornatum saeculi contempsi, propter 
amorem Domini mei Jesu Christi." Offic. nee Virg. nee Mart. resp. 8. 

2 Spirit, ch. 27. 

378 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

friend how he fell into such a state of poverty; he took 
from his pocket a small volume of the Gospels, and said: 
<k Behold, this is what has stripped me of all." The Holy 
Spirit says: If a man shall give all the substance of his house 
for love, he shall despise it as nothing} And when a soul 
nxes her whole love in God, she despises all, wealth, pleas 
ures, dignities, territories, kingdoms, and all her longing 
is after God alone; she says, again and again: "My 
God, I wish for Thee only, and nothing more." St. 
Francis de Sales writes: 2 " The pure love of God con 
sumes everything which is not God, to convert all into 
itself; for whatever we do for the love of God is love." 

The Sacred Spouse said: He brought me into the cellar 
of wine, he set in order charity in me. 3 This cellar of wine, 
writes St. Teresa, is divine love, which, on taking posses 
sion of a soul, so perfectly inebriates it as to make it for 
getful of everything created. A person intoxicated is, 
as it were, dead in his senses; he does not see, nor hear, 
nor speak; and so it happens to the soul inebriated with 
divine love. She has no longer any sense of the things 
of the world; she wishes to think only of God, to speak 
only of God; she recognizes no other motive in all her ac 
tions but to love and to please God. In the sacred Can 
ticles the Lord forbids them to awake his beloved, who 
sleeps: Stir not up, nor make the beloved to awake, till she 
please? This blessed sleep, enjoyed by souls espoused to 
Jesus Christ, says St. Basil, is nothing else than " the 
utter oblivion of all things," 5 a virtuous and voluntary 
forgetfulness of every created thing, in order to be occu- 

1 " Si dederit homo omnem substantiam domus suae pro dilectione, 
quasi nihil despiciet earn." Cant. viii. 7. 

2 Lett res 531, 203. 

3 " Introduxit me in cellam vinariam, ordinavit in me charitatem." 
Cant. ii. 4. 

4 "Ne suscitetis, neque evigilare faciatis dilectam." Cant. ii. 7. 
B Summa rerum omnium oblivio." A cg. ftts. disp. int. 6. 

CHAP, vii.] Detachment. 379 

pied solely with God, and to be able to exclaim with St. 
Francis, " My God and my all." 1 My God, what are 
riches, and dignities, and goods of the world, compared 
with Thee ! Thou art my all and my every good. 
" My God and my all." Thomas aKempis writes, 2 " Oh, 
sweet word ! It speaks enough for him who under 
stands it; and to him who loves, it is most delicious to 
repeat again and again: My God and my all, my God 
and my all ! " 

Detachment from Relatives, above all, in regard to one s 

Wherefore, to arrive at perfect union with God, a total 
detachment from creatures is of absolute necessity. And 
to come to particulars, we must divest ourselves of all in 
ordinate affection towards relatives. Jesus Christ says : 
If any man come to Me and hate not his father and mother, 
and wife and children, and brethren and sisters, yea, and his 
own life also, he cannot be My disciple? And wherefore this 
hatred to relatives ? because generally, as regards the 
interests of the soul, we cannot have greater enemies 
than our own kindred : And a man s enemies shall be those 
of his own household* St. Charles Borromeo declared 
that he never went to pay a visit to his family without 
returning cooled in fervor. And when Father Antony 
Mendoza was asked why he refused to enter the house 
of his parents, he replied, "Because I know, by experi 
ence, that nowhere is the devotion of religious so dissi 
pated as in the house of parents." 

When, moreover, the choice of a state of life is con- 

1 " Deus meus, et omnia." 

a Imit. Chr. B. 3, c. 34. 

3 " Si quis venit ad me, et non odit patrem suum, et matrem, et ux- 
orem, et filios, et sorores, adhuc autem et animam suam, non potest 
meus esse discipulus." Luke, xiv. 26. 

" Et inimici hominis domestic! ejus." JWait. x. 36. 

380 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ, 

cerned, it is certain that we are not obliged to obey our 
parents, according to the doctrine of St. Thomas Aquinas. 1 
Should a young man be called to the religious life, and 
find opposition from his parents, he is bound to obey 
God, and not his parents, who, as the same St. Thomas 
says, with a view to their own interests and private ends, 
stand in the way of our spiritual welfare. " Friends of 
flesh and blood are oftentimes opposed to our spiritual 
profit." 2 And they are content, says St. Bernard, 3 to 
have their children go to eternal perdition, rather than 
leave home. It is surprising, in this matter, to see some 
fathers and mothers, even though fearing God, yet so 
blinded by mistaken fondness, that they use every effort, 
and exhaust every means, to hinder the vocation of a 
child who wishes to become a religious. This conduct, 
however (except in very rare cases), cannot be excused 
from grievous sin. 

But some one may say: What, then, and if such a youth 
does not become a religious, can he not be saved ? Are, 
then, all who remain in the world castaway ? I answer : 
Those whom God does not call into religion may be 
saved in the world by fulfilling the duties of their state; 
but those who are called from the world, and do not obey 
God, may, indeed, possibly be saved; but they will be 
saved with difficulty, because they will be deprived of 
those helps which God had destined for them in religion, 
and for want of which they will not accomplish their sal 
vation. The theologian Habert writes, that he who dis 
obeys his vocation remains in the Church like a member 
out of joint, and cannot discharge his duty without the 
greatest pain; and so will hardly effect his salvation. 
Whence he draws this conclusion : " Although, absolutely 

1 2. 2, q. 104, a. 5. 

2 " Frequenter amici carnales adversantur profectui spiritual!. "- 
2. 2, q. 189, a. 10. 

3 Epist. in. 

CHAP, vii.] Detachment. 381 

speaking, he can be saved, yet he will enter on the way, 
and employ the means of salvation with difficulty." 1 

The choice of a state of life is compared by Father 
Lewis of Grenada to the mainspring in a watch : if the 
mainspring be broken, the whole watch is out of order; 
and the same holds good with regard to our salvation 
if the state of life be out of order, the whole life is out of 
order too. Alas, how many poor youths have lost their 
vocation through their parents, and have afterwards 
come to a bad end, and have themselves proved the ruin 
of their family ! There was a certain youth who lost his 
religious vocation at the instigation of his father; but in 
course of time, conceiving a great dislike of this same 
father, he killed him with his own hand, and was exe 
cuted for the crime. Another young man, whilst pursu 
ing his studies in the seminary, was also called by God 
to leave the world; heedless of his vocation, he first left 
off the devout life he was leading, prayer, Holy Com 
munion, etc.; then he gave himself up to vice; and 
eventually, as he was one night leaving a house of ill- 
fame, where he had been, he was murdered by his rival. 
Several priests ran to the spot, but they found him 
already dead. And, oh, what a sad catalogue of like ex 
amples could I here add ! 

But to return to our subject. St. Thomas advises 
those who are called to a more perfect life not to take 
their parents advice, because they w r ould be their enemies 
in sucli a case. 2 And if children are not bound to take 

1 " Non sine magnis difficultatibus poterit saluti suse consulere, 
manebitque in corpore Ecclesiae velut membrum suis sedibus motum, 
quod servire potest, sed aegre et cum deformitate. Licet, absolute 
loquendo, salvari possit, difficile tamen ingredietur viam humilitatis 
et pcenitentije, qua sola ipsi patet ingressus ad vitam." De Ord. p. 3, 
c. i, 2. 

2 " Ab hoc consilio amovendi sunt carnis propinqui . . . : in hoc 
proposito, amici non sunt, sed potius inimici. juxta sententiam Domini: 
Inimici hominis, domestici ejus. " Contra retr. a rel. c. 9. 

382 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

the advice of their parents on their vocation, they are 
under less obligation of asking or waiting for their per 
mission, particularly when they have reason to fear that 
they would unjustly refuse their consent, or prevent them 
from fulfilling their designs. St. Thomas of Aquinas, 
St. Peter of Alcantara, St. Francis Xavier, St. Louis Ber- 
trand, and many others, embraced a religious state 
without even acquainting their parents. 

Sanctity required to enter Holy Orders. 

Again, it must be observed that as we are very much 
exposed to be lost when to please our relatives we do not 
follow the divine vocation, so we also endanger our sal 
vation when not to displease them we embrace the ecclesi 
astical state without being called to it by God. Now, a 
true vocation to this sublime dignity is distinguished by 
three signs, namely the requisite knowledge, the inten 
tion of applying one s self only to God s service, and 
positive goodness of life. We shall here speak only of 
this last condition. 

The Council of Trent has prescribed to bishops to 
raise to Holy Orders only those whose irreproachable 
conduct has been proved. 1 This is a rule that Canon 
Law had already established. 2 Although this is directly 
understood of the external proof that the bishop should 
have in regard to the irreproachable conduct of the as 
pirants to the priesthood, yet one cannot doubt that the 
Council requires not only external irreproachableness, 
but even with greater reason, interior irreproachableness, 
without which the former would be illusory. The Coun 
cil also adds that those only are to be admitted to Holy 
Orders who show themselves worthy by a wise maturity. 3 

1 " Subdiaconi et diaconi ordinentur ut habentes bonum testimonium 
et in minoribus Ordinibus jam probati." Sess. xxiii. cap. 13. 

" Nullus ordinetur, nisi probatus fuerit." Cap. Nullus, dist. 24. 

3 "Sciant episcopi debere ad hos (sacros) Ordines assumi dignos 
dumtaxat, el quorum probata vita senectus sit." xxiii. cap. 12. 

CHAP, vii.] Detachment. 383 

We, moreover, know that the Council prescribes for this 
end the keeping of the interstices, that is, of an interval 
of time between the different degrees of Holy Orders/ 

St. Thomas gives a reason for such a regulation : it 
is this, that in receiving Holy Orders one is destined to 
the most sublime ministry, that of serving JesusChrist 
in the Sacrament of the Altar. Hence the angelic Doctor 
adds that the sanctity of ecclesiastics ought to surpass 
that of the religious. 2 He elsewhere explains that sanc 
tity is required not only in those who are ordained, but 
also in the subject who presents himself to be admitted 
to Holy Orders, and he shows the difference that exists in 
this respect between the religious and the ecclesiastical 
state. For in religion one purifies one s self of one s vices, 
whilst to receive Holy Orders it is necessary that one 
has already led a pure and holy life. 3 The holy Doctor 
also says in another place that the candidates for Holy 
Orders ought to be raised above the simple faithful by 
their virtue as well as by the dignity of their functions. 4 
And this merit he requires before ordination, for he calls 
it necessary not only in order to exercise well the ec 
clesiastical functions, but also to be worthily admitted 
among the number of the ministers of Jesus Christ. 5 He 

1 " Ut in eis, cum setate, vitse meritum et doctrina major accrescat." 
Sess. xxiii. cap. n. 

2 " Quia per sacrum Ordinem aliquis deputatur ad dignissima min- 
isteria, quibus ipsi Christo servitur in Sacramento altaris; ad quod re- 
quiritur major sanctitas interior quam requirat etiam religionis 
status." 2. 2, q. 184, a. 8. 

3 " Ordines sacri praeexigunt sanctitatem; sed status religionis est 
exercitium quoddam ad sanctitatem assequendam. Unde pondus Or- 
dinum imponendum est parietibus jam per sanctitatem desiccatis; 
sed pondus religionis desiccat parietes, id est, homines ab humore 
vitiorum." 2. 2, q. 189, a. I. 

4 " Ut, sicut illi, qui Ordinem suscipiunt, super plebem constituun- 
tur gradu Ordinis, ita et superiores sint merito sanctitatis." 

5 "Et ideo praeexigitur gratia, quse sufficiat ad hoc quod digne con- 
numerentur in plebe Christi." 

384 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

finally concludes with these words : "In the reception of 
the Sacrament of Holy Orders, the candidates receive a 
more abundant outpouring of grace in order thus to be in 
a position to advance to a higher perfection." By these 
last words, " to advance to a higher perfection," the 
saint declares that the grace of the sacrament, far from 
being useless, will dispose the subject by an increase of 
strength to obtain still greater merits ; but he expresses, 
at the same time, how necessary it is for the candidate 
to prepare himself in a state of grace that is sufficient in 
order that he may be judged wortny of entering the 

In my Moral Theology* I have given on this point a 
long dissertation to establish that those cannot be ex 
cused from mortal sin who without having been suffi 
ciently tried by a holy life receive a Holy Order ; since 
they raise themselves to this sublime state without a 
divine vocation ; for one cannot regard those as having 
been called by God who have not yet succeeded in over 
coming a bad habit, especially the habit of offending 
against chastity. And whenever among those one might 
be found who is disposed by repentance to receive the 
Sacrament of Penance, he would nevertheless not be 
in a condition to receive Holy Orders, for in his case 
there must be more holiness of life manifested during a 
long trial. Otherwise the candidate would not be ex 
empt from mortal sin on account of the grave presump 
tion that he wished to intrude into the holy ministry 
withouta vocation. Hence St. Anselm says : " Those who 
thus thrust themselves into Holy Orders and have in view 
only their own interests are robbers who arrogate to 
themselves the grace of God; instead of benediction they 

1 " Sed confertur in ipsa susceptione Ordinis amplius gratiae 
munus per quod ad majora reddantur idonei." Suppl. q. 35, a. i. 

2 Lib. 6, c. 2, n. 63. 

CHAP, vii.] Detachment. 385 

would receive God s malediction." : As Bishop Abelly 
remarks/ they would expose themselves to the great 
danger of being lost forever: " Whoever deliberately 
and without troubling himself whether or not he had a 
vocation would thrust himself into the priesthood, would 
without doubt plainly expose himself to eternal per 
dition." 2 Soto holds the same opinion when he asserts, 
in speaking of the Sacrament of Holy Orders, that posi 
tive sanctity in the candidate is of divine precept: " As 
suredly," he says, " this sanctity is not essential to the 
sacrament, though it is altogether necessary by a divine 
precept. . . . Now, the sanctity that should characterize 
the candidates to Holy Orders does not consist in the 
general disposition required for the reception of the 
other sacraments, and sufficient in order that the sacra 
ment may not be impeded. For, in the Sacrament of 
Holy Orders, one receives not only grace, but one is 
raised to a much more sublime state. Hence in the can 
didates there must be great purity of life and perfect 
virtue." 3 Thomas Sanchez, Holzmann, the school of 
Salamanca, are also of the same opinion. Thus, what I 
have advanced is not only the opinion of one theologian, 
but it is the common teaching based upon what is 
taught by St. Thomas. 

1 " Qui enim se ingerit, et propriam gloriam quaerit, gratise Dei 
rapinam facit, et ideo non accipit benedictionem sed maledictionem." 
In Hcbr. v. 

2 "Qui sciens et volens, nulla divine vocationis habita ratione, 
sese in Sacerdotium intrudere^ baud dubie seipsum in apertissimum 
salutis discrimen injiceret." Sac. Chr. p. i, c. 4. 

3 " Quamvis morum integritas non sit de essentia Sacramenti, est 
tamen prsecepto divino maxime necessaria. ... At vero, quod de 
idoneitate eorum qui sacris sunt Ordinibus initiandi definitur, non est 
generalis ilia dispositio quse in suscipiente quodcumque Sacramentum 
requiritur, ne sacramentalis gratia obicem inveniat. . . . Enim vero, 
quoniam per sacramentum Ordinis homo, non solumgratiam suscipit, 
sed ad sublimiorem statum conscendit, requiritur in eo morum hon- 
estas et virtutum claritas." In \ Sent. d. 25, q. i, a. 4. 


386 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

If any one receive Holy Orders without having led 
the requisite good life, not only would he himself com 
mit a mortal sin, but also the bishop who confers them 
upon him without having been morally certain, by suffi 
cient proofs, of the good conduct of the candidate. The 
confessor also would be guilty of mortal sin, because he 
gives absolution to one who, addicted to a bad habit, 
wishes to be ordained without having given evidence 
during a considerable time of a positively good life. 
Finally, parents also sin grievously because, though 
knowing the wicked conduct of their son, they yet try to 
induce him to take Holy Orders in order that afterwards 
he may become the support of the family. Jesus Christ 
instituted the ecclesiastical state, not to aid the houses of 
seculars, but to promote the glory of God and the salva 
tion of souls. Some imagine the ecclesiastical state to be 
an honorable and a remunerative employment or trade; 
but they deceive themselves. Hence, when parents ask the 
bishop to ordain one of their children who is ignorant, and 
whose conduct has been bad, alleging that their family is 
poor, and that they know not how otherwise to extricate 
themselves from their embarrassment, the bishop must 
say to them: This I cannot do; the ecclesiastical state is 
not established to give assistance to poor families, but 
to promote the good of the church. They should be sent 
away without listening to them any longer; for such per 
sons ordinarily bring ruin not only upon their own souls, 
but upon their family and their country. 

As for the priests who live with their parents, if they 
are solicited to occupy themselves less with the functions 
of their ministry than the interests and advancement of 
their families, they should answer what Jesus Christ one 
day said, for our own edification, to his holy mother: 
Did you not know that I must be about my fathers business ? 1 

1 " Nesciebatis quae in his quae Patris mei sunt oportet me esse ?" 
Luke, ii. 49. 

CHAP, vii.i Detachment. 387 

I am a priest; my duty it is not to amass wealth and 
procure honors, nor to govern the house, but to live in 
retirement, to meditate, to study, and to work for the 
salvation of souls. When it is absolutely necessary to 
aid one s family, one ought to do so as much as possible 
without neglecting one s principal care, which is, to ap 
ply one s self to one s own sanctification, and that of 

Detachment from Human Respect and from Self -will. 

Moreover, any one that would belong wholly to God 
must be free of all human respect. Oh, how many souls 
does this accursed respect keep aloof from God, and 
even separate them from him forever ! For instance, if 
they hear mention made of some or other of their fail 
ings, oh, what do they not do to justify themselves, and 
to convince the world that it is a calumny ! If they per 
form some good work, how industrious are they to cir 
culate it everywhere ! They would have it known to 
the whole world, in order to be universally applauded. 
The saints behave in a very different way : they would 
rather publish their defects to the whole world, in order 
to pass in the eyes of all for the miserable creatures 
which they really are in their own eyes; and, on the 
contrary, in practising any act of virtue, they prefer to 
have God alone know of it; for their only care is to be 
acceptable to him. It is on this account that so many 
of them were enchanted with solitude, mindful, as they 
were, of the words of Jesus Christ : But when thou dost 
alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doth. 1 And 
again: But thou, when thou shalt pray, enter into thy cham 
ber; and having shut the door, pray to thy FatJier in secret? 1 

" Te autem faciente eleemosynam, nesciat sinistra tua quid facial 
dextera tua." Matt. vi. 3. 

"Cum oraveris, intra in cubiculum tuum, et clause ostio, ora Pa- 
trem tuum in abscondito. ! Ibid. 6. 

388 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

But of all things, self-detachment is most needful; 
that is, detachment from self-will. Only once succeed 
in subduing yourself, and you will easily triumph in 
every other combat. Vince teipsum, "Conquer thyself," 
was the maxim which St. Francis Xavier inculcated on 
all. And Jesus Christ said : If any one would come after 
Me, let him deny himself. 1 Behold in small compass all 
that we need practise to become saints; to deny our 
selves, and not to follow our own will : Go not after thy 
lusts, but turn away from thy own will? And this is the 
greatest grace, said St. Francis of Assisi, that we can re 
ceive from God : the power, namely, to conquer our 
selves by denying self-will. St. Bernard writes, that if 
all men would resist self-will, none would ever be 
damned : " Let self-will cease, and there will be no 
hell." 3 The same saint writes, that it is the baneful 
effect of self-will to contaminate even our good works : 
"Self-will is a great evil, since it renders thy good works 
no longer good." 4 As, for instance, were a penitent ob 
stinately bent on mortifying himself, or on fasting, or 
on taking the discipline against the will of his director; 
we see that this act of penance, done at the instigation 
of self-will, becomes very defective. 

Unhappy the man that lives the slave of self-will ! for 
he shall have a yearning for many things, and shall not 
possess them; while, on the other hand, he will be forced 
to undergo many things distasteful and bitter to his 
inclinations: From whence are wars and contentions among 
you ? Are they not hence ? From your concupiscences, which 

1 " Si quis vult post me venire, abnegetsemetipsum." Matt. xvi. 24. 
- " Post concupiscentias tuas non eas, et a voluntate tua avertere." 
Ecclus. xviii. 30. 

3 " Cesset voluntas propria, et infernus non erit." In Temp. 
Pasch. s. 3. 

4 " Grande malum propria voluntas, qua fit ut bona tua tibi bona 
non sint." In Cant. s. 71. 

CHAP, vii.] Detachment. 389 

iv ar in your members ? You covet, and have not. 1 The first 
war springs from the appetite for sensual delights. Let 
us take away the occasion ; let us mortify the eyes ; let 
us recommend ourselves to God, and the war will be over. 
The second war arises from the covetousness of riches: 
let us cultivate a love of poverty, and this war will cease. 
The third war has its source in ambitiously seeking after 
honors : let us love humility and the hidden life, and this 
war too will be no more. The fourth war, and the most 
ruinous of all, comes from self-will : let us practise 
resignation in all things which happen by the will of 
God, and the war will cease. St. Bernard tells us that 
whenever we see a person troubled, the origin of his 
trouble is nothing else but his inability to gratify self- 
will. "Whence comes disquiet," says the saint, " except 
that we follow self-will ?" 2 Our Blessed Lord once com 
plained of this to St. Mary Magdalene of Pazzi, in these 
words : "Certain souls desire my Spirit, but after their 
own fancy ; and so they become incapable of receiv 
ing it." 

We must therefore love God in the way that pleases 
God, and not that pleases us. God will have the soul 
divested of all, in order to be united to himself, and to 
be replenished with his divine love. St. Teresa 3 writes 
as follows : "The prayer of union appears to me to be 
nothing more than to die utterly, as it were, to all things 
in this world, for the enjoyment of God alone. One 
thing is certain, that the more completely we empty our 
selves of creatures, by detaching ourselves from them for 
the love of God, the more abundantly will he fill us with 
himself, and the more closely shall we be united with 

1 " Unde bella et lites in vobis ? nonne hinc, ex concupiscentiis 
vestris, quse militant in membris vestris? Concupischis, et non ha- 
betis." James, iv. I, 2. 

2 "Unde turbatio, nisi quod propriam sequimur voluntatem ?" >e 
Div. s. 26. 

3 Interior Castle, ch. i. 

390 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

him." Many spiritual persons would attain to union 
with God; but then they do not desire the contrarieties 
which God sends them: they fret at having to suffer 
from ill-health, from poverty, from affronts ; but, for 
want of resignation, they will never come to a perfect 
union with God. Let us hear what St. Catharine of 
Genoa said: " To arrive at union with God, the contrari 
eties which God sends us are absolutely necessary; his 
purpose is, to consume in us, by means of them, all 
irregular movements, both within and without. And 
hence all contempt, ailments, poverty, temptations, and 
other trials, are all indispensable, to give us the oppor 
tunity of fighting; that so, by the way of victory, we may 
eventually extinguish all inordinate movements, so as to 
be no more sensible of the.m; furthermore, until we be 
gin to find contradictions sweet for God s sake, instead 
of bitter, we shall never arrive at divine union." 

I here subjoin the practice of it, taught by St. John of 
the Cross. The saint says, that in order to perfect union, 
"a thorough mortification of the senses and of the appe 
tites is necessary. On the part of the senses, every single 
relish that presents itself to them, if it be not purely for 
the glory of God, should forthwith be rejected for the 
love of Jesus Christ; for example, should you have a de 
sire to see or hear something in no wise conducive to 
the greater glory of God, then refrain from it. As to the 
appetites also, endeavor to force ourselves always to 
choose the worst, the most disagreeable, or the poorest, 
without fostering any other wish than to suffer and to be 

In a word, he that truly loves Jesus Christ loses all 
affection for things of earth, and seeks to strip himself 
of all, in order to keep himself united with Jesus Christ 
alone. Jesus is the object of all his desires, Jesus the 
subject of all his thoughts ; for Jesus lie continually 

1 Mont, du C. 1. i, ch. 4-13. 

CHAP, vii.] Detachment. 391 

sighs; in every place, at every time, on every occasion, 
his sole aim is to give pleasure to Jesus. But to reach 
this point, we must study unceasingly to rid the heart of 
every affection which is not for God. And, I ask, what is 
meant by giving the soul entirely to God ? It means, 
first, to shun whatever may be displeasing to God, and 
to do what is most pleasing to him; secondly, it means 
to accept unreservedly all that comes from his hands, 
how hard or disagreeable soever it may be; it means, 
thirdly, to- give the preference in all things to the will of 
God over our own: this is what is meant by belonging 
wholly to God. 

Affections and Prayers. 

Ah, my God and my all ! I cannot help feeling that, in spite 
of all my ingratitude and remissness in Thy service, Thou still 
invitest me to love Thee. Behold me, then ; I will resist Thee 
no longer. I will leave all to be wholly Thine. I will no more 
live for myself : Thy claims on my love are too strong. My 
soul is enamoured of Thee ; my Jesus, it sighs after Thee. And 
how can I possibly love anything else, after seeing Thee die of 
sufferings on a cross in order to save me ! how could I behold 
Thee dead, and exhausted with torments, and not love Thee 
with my whole heart? Yes, I love Thee indeed with all my 
soul ; and I have no other desire but to love Thee in this life 
and for all eternity. My love, my hope, my courage, and my 
consolation, give me strength to be faithful to Thee ; grant me 
light, and make known to me from what I ought to detach my 
self ; supply me too with a strong will to obey Thee in all things. 

love of my soul ! I offer myself, and deliver myself up entirely, 
to satisfy the desire which Thou hast to unite Thyself to me, 
that I may be wholly united with Thee, my God and my all. 
Oh, come then, my Jesus ; come and take possession of my 
whole self, and occupy all my thoughts and all my affections. 

1 renounce all my appetites, all my comforts, and all created 
things ; Thou alone art sufficient for me. Grant me the grace 
to think only of Thee, to desire only Thee, to seek only Thee, 
my beloved and my only good ! 

O Mary, Mother of God, obtain for me holy perseverance ! 

Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ, 



(Charitas non irritatur.) 
He that loves Jesus Christ is never angry with his Neighbor. 

THE virtue not to be angry at the contrarieties that 
happen to us is the daughter of meekness. We have 
already spoken at length of the acts which belong to 
meekness in preceding chapters; but since this is a vir 
tue which requires to be constantly practised by every 
one living among his fellow-men, we will here make 
some remarks on the same subject more in particular, 
and more adapted for practice. 

Humility and meekness were the favorite virtues of 
Jesus Christ; so that he bade his disciples learn of him 
to be meek and humble : Learn of Me, for I am meek ana 
humble of heart? Our Redeemer was called the Lamb, 
Behold the Lamb of God? as well in consideration of 
his having to be offered in sacrifice on the cross for our 
sins, as in consideration of the meekness exhibited by 
him during his entire life, but more especially at the 
time of his Passion. When in the house of Caiphas he 
received a blow from that servant, who at the same time 
upbraided him with presumption in those words : An- 
swercst thou the high-priest so ? Jesus only answered : 
If I have spoken evil, give testimony of the evil ; but if well, 
why strikest thou me?* He observed the same invariable 

1 " Discite a me quia mitis sum et humilis corde." Matt. xi. 29. 

2 " Ecce Agnus Dei." John, i. 29. 

3 " Si male locutus sum, testimonium perhibe de malo; si autem 
bene, quid me caedis ?" John, xviii. 23. 

CHAP, viii.] Meekness, 393 

meekness of conduct till death. While on the cross, and 
made the object of universal scorn and blasphemy, he 
only besought the Eternal Father to forgive them : 
Father, forgive them; for tJiey know not what they do. 1 

Oh, how dear to Jesus Christ are those meek souls 
who, in suffering affronts, derisions, calumnies, persecu 
tions, and even chastisement and blows, are not irritated 
against the person that thus injures or strikes them: 
The prayer of the meek hath always pleased thee? God is al 
ways pleased with the prayers of the meek; that is to say, 
their prayers are always heard. Heaven is expressly 
promised to the meek: Blessed are the meek, for they shah 
possess the land* Father Alvarez said that paradise is the 
country of those who are despised and persecuted and 
trodden under foot, Yes, for it is for them that the pos 
session of the eternal kingdom is reserved, and not for the 
haughty, who are honored and esteemed by the world. 
David declares that the meek shall not only inherit eter 
nal happiness, but shall likewise enjoy great peace in the 
present life: The meek shall inherit the land, and shall de 
light in abundance of peace* It is so, because the saints 
harbor no malice against those who ill-treat them, but 
rather love them the more; and the Lord, in reward for 
their patience, gives them an increase of interior peace. 
St. Teresa said: " I seem to experience a renewed love 
towards those persons who speak ill of me." : This gave 
occasion to the Sacred Congregation to say of the saint, 
that " even affronts themselves supplied her with the 
food of charity." Offences became a fresh reason for 

"Pater! dimitte illis ; non enim sciunt quid faciunt." Luke, 
xxiii. 34. 

2 "Mansuetorum semper tibi placuit deprecatio." Judith, ix. 16. 
" Beati mites, quoniam ipsi possidebunt terram." Mait. v. 4. 

4 " Mansueti autem hsereditabunt terram, et delectabuntur in mul- 
titudine pacis. " Ps. xxxvi. u. 

5 Rib. 1. 4, c. 26 

6 "Offensiones amoris ipsi escam ministrabunt." 

394 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

her to love the person who had offended her. No one 
can have such meekness as this, if he has not a great 
humility and a low opinion of himself, so as to consider 
himself worthy of every kind of contempt; and hence 
we see, on the contrary, that the proud are always irrita 
ble and vindictive, because they have a high conceit of 
themselves, and esteem themselves worthy of all honor. 
Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. 1 We must, in 
deed, die in the Lord to be blessed, and to enjoy that 
blessedness even in the present life: we mean, such hap 
piness as can be had before entering heaven, which, 
though certainly much below that of heaven, yet far 
surpasses all the pleasures of sense in this world: And 
the peace of God, which surpasscth all under standing, keep your 
hearts? so wrote the Apostle to his disciples. But to gain 
this peace, even in the midst of affronts and calumnies, 
we must be dead in the Lord: a dead person, how much 
soever he may be ill-treated and trampled on by others,, 
resents it not; in like manner, he who is meek, like a 
dead body, which no longer sees or feels, should endure 
all the outrages committed against him. Whoever loves 
Jesus Christ from his heart easily attains to this; because, 
as he is conformed in all things to his will, he accepts 
with equal composure and peace of mind prosperous and 
adverse occurrences, consolations and afflictions, injuries 
and courtesies. Such was the conduct of the Apostle; 
and he says, therefore: I exceedingly abound with joy in all 
onr tribulation* Oh, happy the man who reaches this 
point of virtue ! he enjoys a continual peace, which is a 
treasure precious beyond all other goods of this world. 
St. Francis de Sales said: "Of what value is the whole 
universe in comparison with peace of heart ?" 4 And, in 

1 "Beati mortui qui in Domino moriuntur." Apoc. xiv. 13. 

2 "Pax Dei, quae exsuperat omnem sensum." Phil. iv. 7. 

3 " Superabundo gaudio in omni tribulatione nostra." 2 Cor. vii. 4 

4 Lettre 580. 

CHAP, viii.] Meekness. 395 

truth, of what avail are all riches and all the honors of 
the world to a man that lives in disquiet, and whose heart 
is not at peace ?" 

In short, in order to remain constantly united with 
Jesus Christ, we must do all with tranquillity, and not 
be troubled at any contradiction that we may encounter. 
The Lord is not in the earthquake. 1 The Lord does not 
abide in troubled hearts. Let us listen to the beautiful 
lessons given on this subject by that master of meekness 
St. Francis de Sales: " Never put yourself in a passion, 
nor open the door to anger on any pretext whatever; be 
cause, when once it has gained an entrance, it is no longer 
in our power to banish it, or moderate it, when we wish 
to do so. The remedies against it are: i. To check it 
immediately, by diverting the mind to some other object, 
and not to speak a word. 2. To imitate the Apostles 
when they beheld the tempest at sea, and to have recourse 
to God, to whom it belongs to restore peace to the soul. 
3. If you feel that, owing to your weakness, anger 
has already got footing in your breast, in that case do 
yourself violence to regain your composure, and then try 
to make acts of humility and of sweetness towards the 
person against whom you are irritated; but all this must 
be done with sweetness and without violence, for it is of 
the utmost importance not to irritate the wounds." 2 The 
saint said that he himself was obliged to labor much dur 
ing his life to overcome two passions which predomi 
nated in him, namely, anger and love: to subdue the 
passion of anger, he avowed it had cost him twenty-two 
years hard struggle, As to the passion of love, he had 
succeeded in changing its object, by leaving creatures, 
and turning all his affections to God. And in this 
manner the saint acquired so great an interior peace, 
that it was visible even in his exterior; for he was in- 

1 " Non in comrnotione Deus." 3 Kings, xix. II. 

2 Introtl. ch. 8. 

396 Practice of the Love of Jesits Christ. 

variably seen with a serene countenance and a smile on 
his features. 

From whence are wars ? . . . Are they not from your con 
cupiscences ? 1 When we are made angry by some contra 
diction, we fancy we shall find relief and quiet by giving 
vent to our anger in actions, or at least in words: but we 
are mistaken, it is not so; for after having done so, we 
shall find that we are much more disturbed than before. 
Whoever desires to persevere in uninterrupted peace, 
must beware of ever yielding to ill-humor. And when 
ever any one feels himself attacked by this ill-humor, he 
must do his utmost to banish it immediately; and he 
must not go to rest with it in his heart, but must divert 
himself from it by the perusal of some book, by singing 
some devout canticle, or by conversing on some pleasant 
subject with a friend, The Holy Spirit says: Anger resteth 
in the bosom of a fool? Anger remains a long time in the 
heart of fools, who have little love for Jesus Christ; but 
if by stealth it should ever enter into the hearts of the true 
lovers of Jesus Christ, it is quickly dislodged, and does not 
remain. A soul that cordially loves the Redeemer never 
feels in a bad humor, because, as she desires only what 
God desires, she has all she wishes for, and consequently is 
ever tranquil and well-balanced. The divine will tranquil 
lizes her in every misfortune that occurs; and thus she is 
able at all times to observe meekness towards all. But we 
cannot acquire this meekness without a great love for 
Jesus Christ. In fact, we know by experience that we 
are not meeker and gentler towards others, except 
when we feel an increased tenderness towards Jesus 
Christ. v 

But since we cannot constantly experience this tender 
ness, we must prepare ourselves, in our mental prayer, 

1 " Unde bella? . . . nonne hinc, ex concupiscentiis vestris?" 
James, iv. I, 2. 

2 " Ira in sinu stulti requiescit." Rcclus. vii. 10. 

CHAP, viii.] Meekness, 397 

to bear the crosses that may befall us. This was the 
practice of the saints; and so they were ever ready to 
receive with patience and meekness injuries, blows, and 
chastisements. When we meet with an insult from our 
neighbor, unless we have frequently trained ourselves 
beforehand, we shall find it extremely difficult to know 
what course to take, in order not to yield to the force of 
anger; in the very moment, our passion will make it ap 
pear but reasonable for us to retort boldly the audacity 
of the person who affronts us, but St. John Chrysostom 
says that it is not the right way to quench the fire which 
is raging in the mind of our neighbor by the fire of an 
indignant reply; to do so will only enkindle it the more: 
"One fire is not extinguished by another." 1 

Some one may say: But why should I use courtesy 
and gentleness towards an impertinent fellow, that insults 
me without cause ? But St. Francis de Sales replies: 
"We must practise meekness, not only with reason, but 
against reason." 2 

We must therefore endeavor, on such occasions, to 
make a kind answer; and in this way we shall allay the 
fire: A mild answer breaketh wrath? But when the mind 
is troubled, the best expedient will be to keep silence. 
St. Bernard writes: " The eye troubled by anger sees not 
straight." When the eye is dimmed with passion, it no 
longer distinguishes between what is and what is not un 
just; anger is like a veil drawn over the eyes, so that we 
can no longer discern betwixt right and wrong; where 
fore we must, like St. Francis de Sales, make a compact 
with our tongue: "I have made a covenant with my 
tongue," he wrote, " never to speak while my heart is 

1 " Igne non potest ignis extingui." In Gen. horn. 58. 

2 Lett re 231. 

" Responsio mollis frangit iram." Prov. xv. i. 
4 "Turbatus prae ira oculus . . . rectum non videt." DC Cons. L 
2, c. n. 

398 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

But there are moments when it seems absolutely neces 
sary to check insolence with severe words. David said: 
Be angry, and sin not. 1 Occasions do exist, therefore, 
when we may be lawfully angry, provided it be without 
sin. But here is just the matter: speculatively speaking, 
it seems expedient at times to speak and reply to some 
people in terms of severity, in order to make an impres 
sion on them ; but in practice it is very difficult to do this 
without some fault on our part; so that the sure way is 
always to admonish, or to reply, with gentleness, and to 
scrupulously guard against all resentment. St. Francis 
de Sales said: " I have never been angry without after 
wards repenting of it." And when, for some reason 
or other, we still feel warm, the safest way, as I said be 
fore, is to keep silence, and reserve the remonstrance 
till a more convenient moment, when the heart is cooled 

We ought particularly to observe this meekness when 
we are corrected by our Superiors or friends. St. Francis 
de Sales again writes: tf To receive a reprimand willingly, 
shows that we love the virtue opposed to the fault for 
which we are corrected; and consequently this is a great 
sign of progress in perfection." 2 

We must besides practise meekness towards ourselves. 
It is a delusion of the devil, to make us consider it a vir 
tue to be angry with ourselves for committing some 
fault; far from it, it is a trick of the enemy to keep us in 
a state of trouble, that so we may be unfit for the per 
formance of any good. St. Francis de Sales said: "Hold 
for certain that all such thoughts as create disquiet are 
not from God, who is the Prince of peace, but proceed 
either from the devil, or from self-love, or from the good 
opinion we have of ourselves. These are the three 
scources from which all our troubles spring. When, 

1 " Irascimini, et nolite peccare." Ps. iv. 5. 

2 Spirit, ch. 19. 

CHAP, viii.] Meekness. 399 

therefore, any thoughts arise which throw us into trou 
ble, we must immediately reject and despise them." 1 

Meekness is also more especially necessary when we 
have to correct others. Corrections made with a bitter 
zeal often do more harm than good, especially when he 
who must be corrected is himself excited: in such cases 
the correction should be put off, and we must wait until 
he is cool. And we ourselves ought no less to refrain 
from correcting while we are under the influence of ill- 
temper; for then our admonition will always be accom 
panied with harshness; and the person in fault, when he 
sees that he is corrected in such a way, will take no heed of 
the admonition, considering it the mere effect of passion. 
This halds good as far as concerns the good of our 
neighbor; as concerns our personal advantage, let us 
show how dearly we love Jesus Christ, by patiently and 
gladly supporting every sort of ill-freatment, injury, and 

Affections and Prayers. 

O my despised Jesus, O love, O joy of my soul, Thou hast by 
Thy example made contempt most acceptable to Thy lovers ! I 
promise Thee, from this day forward, to submit to every affront 
for the love of Thee, who for love of me didst submit on earth 
to every species of revilement from men. Do Thou grant me 
strength to keep this promise. Enable me to know and to per 
form whatever Thou desirest at my hands. My God and my 
all, I crave no other good than Thyself, who art infinite good ! 
O Thou who takest my interests so much too heart, grant that 
my only care may be to gratify Thee ! Grant that all my thoughts 
may be occupied in avoiding whatever may offend Thee, and in 
promoting whatever may contribute to Thy good pleasure. Ward 
off every occasion that may draw me from Thy love. I strip my 
self of my liberty, and consecrate it entirely to Thy good will. I 
love Thee, O infinite goodness! I love Thee, O my delight ! O 
Word incarnate, I love Thee more than myself ! Take pity on me, 

1 Lettre 51, 

4OO Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

and heal whatever wounds remain in my poor soul from its past 
disloyalties towards Thee. I resign myself wholly into Thy 
arms, O my Jesus ; I will be wholly Thine; I will suffer every 
thing for love of Thee ; and I ask of Thee nothing but Thy 
self ! 

O Holy Virgin and my Mother Mary, I love thee, and I rely 
on thee ; succor r^e by thy powerful intercession ! 



(Charitas non cogitat malum , non gatidet super iniquitate, congaudet 
auteni z critati.} 

He that loves Jesus Christ only wishes what Jesus Christ 


CHARITY and truth always go together; so that charity, 
conscious that God is the only and the true good, detests 
iniquity, which is directly opposed to the divine will, and 
takes no satisfaction but in what pleases Almighty God. 
Hence the soul that loves God is heedless of what people 
say of it, and only aims at pleasing God. The Blessed 
Henry Suso said: " That man stands well with God who 
strives to conform himself to the truth, and for the rest 
is utterly indifferent to the opinion or treatment of man 

As we have already more than once asserted, the sanc 
tity and perfection of a soul consists in renouncement of 
self and in submission to the will of God; but now it 
will be well to enter more into detail. 

The Necessity of Conforming to the Will of God. 

If, then, we would become saints, our whole endeavor 
must be, never to follow our own will, but always the 

CHAP, ix.j /. Conformity to God s Will. 401 

will of God; the substance of all the precepts and divine 
counsels is comprised in doing and suffering what God 
wills, and in the manner he wills it. Let us, therefore, 
entreat the Lord to bestow on us a holy liberty of spirit; 
liberty of spirit leads us to embrace whatever is pleasing 
to Jesus Christ, regardless of all feelings of repugnance 
arising from self-love and human respect. The love of 
Jesus Christ makes those who love him utterly indiffer 
ent; so that all things are alike to them, whether bitter 
or sweet: they do not wish for anything that pleases 
themselves, but only for that which is pleasing to God; 
they employ themselves in little and great things, be 
they pleasant or unpleasant, with the same peace of 
mind; it is enough for them if they please God. 

St. Augustine says: " Love, and do what you like." 
Whoever really )ves God seeks only to please him; and 
in this is all his pleasure. St. Teresa says: "He that 
seeks but the gratification of one he loves, is gratified 
with all that pleases that person. Love in its perfection 
produces this result; it makes a person heedless of all 
private interests and self-satisfaction, and concentrates 
all his thoughts on endeavoring to please the person be 
loved, and to do all he can to honor him himself, and to 
make him honored by others. O Lord, all our ills come 
from not keeping our eyes fixed on Thee! Were we 
solely intent on advancing, we should soon come to the 
end of our journey; but we fall and stumble a thousand 
times, and we even lose our way, for want of looking 
attentively to the right path." Here we may see what 
should be the single aim of all our thoughts, actions, 
desires, and of all our prayers, namely, the pleasure of 
God; our way to perfection must be this, to walk accord 
ing to the will of God. 

God wishes us to love him with our whole heart: 

1 " Ama, et fac quod vis. 

4O2 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

Thou shall love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart} 
That person loves Jesus Christ with his whole heart who 
says to him with the Apostle: Lord, what wilt Thou have 
me to do I* Lord, signify to me what Thou wilt have 
me do; for I desire to perform all. And let us be per 
suaded that whilst we desire what God desires, we de 
sire what is best for ourselves; for assuredly God only 
wishes what is best for us. St. Vincent of Paul said: 
"Conformity with the will of God is the treasure of a 
Christian and the remedy for all evils; since it comprises 
abnegation of self and union with God and all virtues." 
In this, then, is all perfection: Lord, what wilt Thou have 
me to do? Jesus Christ promises us, hot a hair of your 
head shall perish."" Which is as much as to say, that the 
Lord rewards us for every good thought we have of 
pleasing him, and for every tribulation embraced with 
patience in conformity to his holy will. St. Teresa said, 
" The Lord never sends a trial, without remunerating it 
with some favor as often as we accept it with resigna 
tion." 4 

But our conformity to the divine will must be entire, 
without any reserve, and constant without withdrawal. 
In this consists the height of perfection ; and to this (I 
repeat) all our works, all our desires, and all our prayers 
ought to tend. Some souls given to prayer, on reading 
of the ecstasies and raptures of St. Teresa and St. Philip 
Neri, come to wish to enjoy themselves these super 
natural unions. Such wishes must be banished as con 
trary to humility; if we really desire to be saints, we 
must aspire after true union with God, which is to unite 
our will entirely to the will of God. St. Teresa 6 said> 

1 " Diliges Dominum Deumtuum ex toto corde tuo." Matt. xxii. 37. 

2 " Domine, quid me vis facere?" Acts, ix. 6. 

3 " Et capillus de capite vestro non peribit." Luke, xxi. 18. 

4 Life, ch. 30. 

5 Found, ch. 5. 

CHAP, ix.] /. Conformity to God s Will. 403 

"Those persons are deceived who fancy that union with 
God consists in ecstasies, raptures, and sensible enjoy 
ments of him. It consists in nothing else than in sub 
mitting our will to the will of God; and this submission 
is perfect when our will is detached from everything, 
and so completely united with that of God, that all its 
movements depend solely on the will of God. This is 
the real and essential union which I have always sought 
after, and continually beg of the Lord." And then she 
adds: u Oh, how many of us say this, and seem to our 
selves to desire nothing besides this ; but, miserable 
creatures that we are, how few of us attain to it!" Such, 
indeed, is the undeniable truth; many of us say: O Lord! 
I give Thee my will, I desire nothing but what Thou 
desirest; but, in the event of some trying occurrence, 
we are at a loss how to yield calmly to the divine will. 
And this is the source of our continually complaining 
that we are unfortunate in the world, and that we are 
the butt of every misfortune; and so of our dragging on 
an unhappy life. 

If we were conformed to the divine will in every 
trouble, we should undoubtedly become saints, and be 
the happiest of mankind. This, then, should form the 
chief object of our attention, to keep our will in un 
broken union with the will of God in every occurrence 
of life, be it pleasant or unpleasant. It is the admoni 
tion of the Holy Spirit. Winnow not with every wind. 1 
Some people resemble the weathercocks, which turn 
about every wind that blows; if the wind is fair and 
favorable to their desires, they are all gladness and con 
descension ; but if there blow a contrary wind, and 
things fall out against their desires, they are all sadness 
and impatience; this is why they do not become saints, 
and why their life is unhappy, because, in the present 

1 " Ne ventiles te in omnem ventura." Ecclus. v. n. 

404 Practice of the Love of Jcsiis Christ. 

life, adversity will always befall us in a greater measure 
than prosperity. St. Dorotheus said, that to receive 
from the hands of God whatever happens is a great 
means to keep ourselves in continual peace and tranquil 
lity of soul. And the saint relates, that on this account 
the ancient Fathers of the desert were never seen angry 
or melancholy, because they accepted whatever happened 
to them joyfully, as coming from the hands of God. 
Oh, happy the man who lives wholly united and aban 
doned to the divine will ! he is neither puffed up by suc 
cess nor depressed by reverses; for he well knows that 
all alike comes from the self-same hand of God; the 
will of God is the single rule of his own will; thus he 
only does what God wishes him to do, and he only de 
sires what God does. He is not anxious to do many 
things, but to accomplish with perfection what he knows 
to be acceptable to God. Accordingly, he prefers the 
minutest obligations of his state of life to the most 
glorious and important actions, well aware that in the 
latter self-love may find a great share, whereas in the 
former there is certainly the will .of God. 

Thus we, too, shall be happy when we receive from 
God all the dispositions of his Providence in the spirit 
of perfect conformity to his divine will, utterly regard 
less whether or not they coincide with our private in 
clinations. The saintly Mother de Chantal said: "When 
shall we come to relish the divine will in every event 
that happens, without paying attention to anything else 
but the good pleasure of God, from whom it is certain 
that prosperity and adversity proceed alike from motives 
of love and for our best interests ? When shall we resign 
ourselves unreservedly into the arms of our most loving 
heavenly Father, intrusting him with the care of our per 
sons and our affairs, and reserving nothing for ourselves 
but the sole desire of pleasing God ?" The friends of 
St. Vincent of Paul said of him while he was still on. 

CHAP, ix.] /. Conformity to God s Will. 405 

earth: "Vincent is always Vincent." By which they 
meant to say, that the saint was ever to be seen with the 
same smiling face, whether in prosperity or in adversity; 
and was always himself, because, as he lived in the total 
abandonment of himself to God, he feared nothing and 
desired nothing but what was pleasing to God. St. 
Teresa said: " By this holy abandonment that admir 
able liberty of spirit is generated, which those who are 
perfect possess, wherein they find all the happiness in 
this life which they can possibly desire; inasmuch as, 
fearful of nothing, and desirous or wanting for nothing 
in the things of this world, they possess all." 1 

Many, on the other hand, fabricate a sort of sanctity 
according to their own inclinations; some, inclined to 
melancholy, make sanctity consist in living in seclusion; 
others, of a busy temperament, in preaching and in mak 
ing up quarrels; some, of an austere nature, in peniten 
tial inflictions and macerations; others, who are nat 
urally generous, in distributing alms; some in saying 
many vocal prayers; others in visiting sanctuaries; and 
all their sanctity consists in such or the like practices. 
External acts are the fruit of the love of Jesus Christ; 
but true love itself consists in a complete conformity to 
the will of God; and as a consequence of this, in deny 
ing ourselves and in preferring what is most pleasing to 
God, and solely because he deserves it. 

Others wish to serve God; but it must be in that em 
ployment, in that place, with those companions, and in 
such circumstances; or else they either neglect their 
duty, or at least do it with a bad grace: such as these 
are not free in spirit, but are slaves of self-love, and on 
that account reap little merit even from what they per 
form; moreover, they live in perpetual disquiet, since 
their attachment to self-will makes the yoke of Jesus 

1 Found, ch. 5. 

406 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

Christ become heavy to them. The true lovers of Jesus 
Christ love only that which is pleasing to Jesus Christ, 
and for the sole reason that it does please him; and they 
love it when it pleases Jesus Christ, where it pleases him, 
and how it pleases him; whether he chooses to employ 
them in honorable functions, or in mean and lowly occu 
pations; in a life of notoriety in the world, or in one 
hidden and despised. This is the real drift of what is 
meant by the pure love of Jesus Christ; hence we must 
labor to overcome the cravings of our self-love, which 
seeks to be employed in those works only that are glori 
ous, or that are according to our own inclinations. And 
what will it profit us to be the most honored, the most 
wealthy, the greatest in this world, without the will of 
God? The Blessed Henry Suso said, " I would rather 
be the vilest insect on earth by the will of God, than a 
seraph in heaven by my own will." 

Jesus Christ said: Many shall say: Lord, we have cast out 
devils and done great wonders in Thy name : Lord, have we 
not prophesied in Thy name, and cast out devils in Thy name, 
and done many miracles in Thy name ? 1 But the Lord will 
.answer them: I never knew yon; depart from Me, you that 
work iniquity. 1 Depart from me; I nevei acknowledged 
you for my disciples, because you preferred to follow 
your own inclinations rather than my will. And this is 
especially applicable to those priests who labor much for 
the salvation or perfection of others, while they them 
selves continue to live on in the mire of their imperfec 
tions. Perfection consists: First, in a true contempt of 
one s self. Secondly, in a thorough mortification of our 
own appetites. Thirdly, in a perfect conformity to the will 

1 " Domine, nonne in nomine tuo prophetavimus, et in nomine tuo 
deemonia ejecimus, et in nomine tuo virtutes multas fecimus ?" Matt. 
vii. 22. 

2 " Nunquam novi vos; discedite a me, qui operamini iniquitatem. 
Ibid. 23. 

CHAP, ix.] /. Conformity to God s Will. 407 

of God: whosoever is wanting in one of these virtues is 
out of the way of perfection. On this account a great ser 
vant of God said, it was better for us in our actions to 
have the will of God rather than his glory as their sole 
end; for in doing the will of God, we at the same time 
promote his glory; whereas in proposing to ourselves 
the glory of God, we frequently deceive ourselves, and 
follow our own will under pretext of glorifying God. 
St. Francis de Sales said: "There are many who say to 
the Lord: I give myself wholly to Thee without reserve; 
but few indeed, in point of fact, practically embrace this 
abandonment. It consists in a certain indifference in 
accepting all kinds of events, just as they fall out accord 
ing to the order of divine Providence, afflictions as well 
as consolations, slights and injuries as well as honor and 

It is therefore in suffering, and in embracing with 
cheerfulness whatever cuts against the grain of our own 
inclinations, that we can discover who is a true lover 
of Jesus Christ. Thomas a Kempis says " that he is 
not deserving of the name of lover who is not ready to 
endure all things for his beloved, and to follow in all 
things the will of his beloved." 2 On the contrary, Father 
Balthazar Alvarez said, that whoever quietly resigns 
himself to the divine will in troubles "travels to God 
post-haste." And the saintly Mother Teresa said : " What 
greater acquisition can we make, than to have some 
proof that we are pleasing God ?" And to this I add, 
that we cannot have a more certain proof of this, than 
by peacefully embracing the crosses which Gcd sends us. 
We please God by thanking him for his benefits on 
earth; but, says Father John of Avila, one "blessed be 
God " uttered in adversity is worth six thousand acts of 
thanksgiving in prosperity. 

1 En tret. 2. 

2 " Qui non est paratus omnia pati et ad voluntatem stare dilecti, 
non est dignus amator appellari." Imit. Chr. 1. 3, c. 5. 

408 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

And here we must observe, that we must receive with 
resignation not merely the crosses which come directly 
from God; for instance, ill-health, scanty talents, acci 
dental reverses of fortune; but such, moreover, as come 
indirectly from God, and directly from our fellow-men; 
for instance, persecutions, thefts, injuries; for all, in 
reality, come from God. David was one day insulted by 
one of his vassals called Semei, who not only upbraided 
him with words of contumely, but even threw stones at 
him. One of the courtiers would have forthwith avenged 
the insult by cutting off the head of the offender; but 
David replied: Let him alone, and let him curse; for the 
Lord hath bid him curse David; 1 or, in other words, God 
makes use of him to chastise me for my sins, and there 
fore he allowed him to pursue me with injuries. 

Wherefore St. Mary Magdalene of Pazzi said, that all 
our prayers should have for their end to obtain from 
God the grace to follow his holy will in all things. Cer 
tain souls ; greedy of spiritual dainties in prayer, go in 
search only of these banquets of sweet and tender feel 
ings; but courageous souls that seek sincerely to belong 
wholly to God, ask him only for light to understand his 
will, and for strength to put it in execution. In order to 
attain to purity of love, it is necessary to submit our will 
in all things to the will of God: Never consider your 
selves," said St. Francis de Sales, "to have arrived at 
the purity which you ought to have, as long as your will 
is not cheerfully obedient, even in things the most re 
pulsive, to the will of God." " Because," as St. Teresa 
remarks, " the giving up of our will to God draws him 
to unite himself to our lowliness." 1 But this can never 
be obtained, except by means of mental prayer and of 
continual petitions addressed to the divine majesty, nor 

1 " Dimitte eum ut maledicat; Dominus enim pnecepit ei ut male- 
diceret David." 2 Kings, xvi. 10. 

2 Way of Perfect, ch. 33. 

CHAP, ix.] //. Obedience. 409 

without a cordial desire to belong entirely to Jesus 
Christ without reserve. 

most amiable Heart of my divine Saviour, Heart 
enamoured of mankind, since Thou lovest us with such 
a depth of tenderness; O Heart, in fine, worthy to rule 
over and possess all our hearts, would that I could make 
all men comprehend the love Thou bearest them, and 
the tender caresses Thou dost lavish on those who love 
Thee without reserve ! O Jesus my love, be pleased to 
accept the offering and the sacrifice which I this day 
make to Thee of my entire will ! Acquaint me with 
what Thou wouldst have me to do; for I am determined 
to do all by the help of Thy grace. 


Now what is the surest way to know and ascertain 
what God requires of us ? There is no surer way than 
to practise obedience to our Superiors and directors. 
St. Vincent of Paul said: " The will of God is never bet 
ter complied with than when we obey our Superiors." 
The Holy Ghost says: Much better is obedience than the 
victims of fools? God is more pleased with the sacrifice 
which we make to him of our own will, by submitting it 
to obedience, than with all other sacrifices which we 
can offer him; because in other things, as in alms-deeds, 
fastings, mortifications, and the like, we give of what is 
ours to God, but in giving him our will we present him 
ourselves: when we give him our goods, our mortifica 
tions, we give him part; but when we give him our will, 
we give him everything. So that when we say to God, 
O Lord, make me know by means of obedience what 
Thou requires! of me, for I wish to comply with all, we 
have nothing more to offer him. 

1 " Melior est obcdientia, quam stultorum victims." Eccles. iv. 17. 

4i o Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

Whoever, therefore, gives himself up to obedience, 
must needs detach himself totally from his own opinion. 
" What though each one," says St. Francis de Sales, " has 
his own opinions, virtue is not thereby violated; but 
virtue is violated by the attachment which we have to 
our own opinions." 1 But alas ! this attachment is the 
hardest thing to part with; and hence there are so few 
persons wholly given to God, because few render a thor 
ough submission to obedience. There are some persons 
so fondly attached to their own opinion, that, on receiv 
ing an obedience, although the thing enjoined suit their 
inclination, yet, from the very fact that it is commanded, 
they lose all fancy for it, all wish to discharge- it; for 
they find no relish in anything but in following the 
dictates of their individual will. How different is the 
conduct of saints ! their only happiness flows from the 
execution of what obedience imposes on them. The 
saintly Mother Jane Frances de Chantal once told her 
daughters that they might spend the recreation-day in 
any manner they chose. When the evening came, they 
all went to her, to beg most earnestly that she would 
never again grant them such a permission; for they had 
never spent such a wearisome day as that on which they 
had been set free from obedience. 

It is a delusion to think that any one can be possibly 
better employed than in the discharge of what obedience 
has imposed. St. Francis de Sales says: " To desert an 
occupation given by obedience in order to unite ourselves 
to God by prayer, by reading, or by recollection, would 
be to withdraw from God to unite ourselves to our own 
self-love." 2 St. Teresa adds, moreover, that whoever 
performs any work, even though it be spiritual, yet 
against obedience, assuredly works by the instigation of 
the devil, and not by divine inspiration, as he perhaps 

1 Entret. 14. 2 Spirit, ch. 19. 

CHAP, ix.] //. Obedience. 411 

flatters himself; " because," says the saint, " the inspira 
tions of God always come in company with obedience." 
To the same effect she says elsewhere; " God requires 
nothing more of a soul that is determined to love him 
than obedience." 1 "A work done out of obedience," says 
Father Rodriguez, " outweighs every other that we can 
imagine." To lift up a straw from the ground out of obe 
dience is of greater merit than a protracted prayer, or a 
discipline to blood, through our own will. This caused 
St. Mary Magdalene of Pazzi to say, that she would 
rather be engaged in some exercise from obedience than 
in prayer ; " because," said she, " in obedience I am cer 
tain of the will of God, whereas T am by no means so 
certain of it in any other exercise." 2 According to all 
spiritual masters, it is better to leave off any devout ex 
ercise through obedience, than to continue it without obe 
dience. The Most Blessed Virgin Mary revealed once to 
St. Bridget, 3 that he who relinquishes some mortification 
through obedience reaps a twofold profit ; since he has 
already obtained the merit of the mortification by the 
good-will to do it, and he also gains the merit of obe 
dience by foregoing it. One day the famous Father 
Francis Arias went to see the Venerable Father John .of 
Avila, his intimate friend, and he found him pensive and 
sad; he asked him the reason, and received this answer: 
"O happy you, who live under obedience, and are sure 
of doing the will of God. As for me, who shall warrant 
me whether I do a thing more pleasing to God in going 
from village to village, catechizing the poor peasants, or 
in remaining stationary in the confessional, to hear every 
one that presents himself? Whereas he that is living 
under obedience is always sure that whatever he per 
forms by obedience is according to the will of God, or 
rather that it is what is most acceptable to God." Let 

1 Found, ch. 5. 2 Cepar. c. 5. * Rev. 1. 4, c. 26. 

412 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

this serve as a consolation for all those who live under 

For obedience to be perfect, we must obey with the will 
and with the judgment. To obey with the will signifies 
to obey willingly, and not by constraint, after the fashion 
of slaves ; to obey with the judgment means to conform 
our judgment to that of the Superior, without examining 
what is commanded. St. Mary Magdalene of Pazzi 
remarks on this: " Perfect obedience demands a soul 
without judgment." To the like purpose, St. Philip 
Neri said that, in order to obey with perfection, it was 
not enough to execute the thing commanded, but it must 
be done without reasoning on it ; taking it for certain 
that what is commanded us is for us the most perfect 
thing we can do, although the opposite might be better 
before God. J 

This holds good not merely for religious, but likewise 
for seculars living under obedience to their spiritual di 
rectors. Let them request their director to prescribe 
them rules for the guidance of their affairs, both spiritual 
and temporal; and so they will make sure of doing what 
is best. St. Philip Neri said: "Let those who are desir 
ous of progressing in the way of God submit themselves 
to a prudent confessor, whom they should obey as in 
God s place. By so doing, we are certain of not having 
to render an account to God of the actions we perform." 2 

He said, moreover, " that we must place faith in the 
confessor, because the Lord will not permit him to err ; 
that nothing is so sure of cutting off all the snares of the 
devil as to do the will of others in the performance of 
good; and that there is nothing more dangerous than to 
wish to direct ourselves according to our private fancy." 
In like manner, St. Francis de Sales says, in speaking of 
the direction of the spiritual Father as a means of walk- 

1 Bacci, 1. I, c. 20, 2 Bacci, 1. I, c. 20. 

CHAP, ix.] //. Obedience. 4 1 3 

ing securely in the path of perfection, " This is the maxim 
of all maxims." 1 Seek as you will," says the devout 
Avila, "you will never so surely find the will of God as 
in the way of this humble obedience, so much recom 
mended and so practised by all the ancient servants of 
God." The same thing is affirmed by St. Bernard, St. 
Bernardine of Siena, St. Antoninus, St. John of the 
Cross, St. Teresa, John Gerson, and all theologians and 
masters of the spiritual life; and St. John of the Cross 
said, that to call this truth in question is almost to doubt 
of the faith. The words of the saint are, " not to be sat 
isfied with what the confessor says, is arrogance, and a 
want of faith." 

Among the maxims of St. Francis de Sales are the two 
following, most consolatory for scrupulous souls: " First, 
a truly obedient soul was never yet lost ; secondly, we 
ought to be satisfied on being told by our spiritual di 
rector that we are going on well, without seeking to be 
convinced of it ourselves." It is the teaching of many 
Doctors, as of Gerson, St. Antoninus, Cajetanus, 
Navarrus, Sanchez, Bonacina, Cordovius, Castropalao, 
and the Doctors of Salamanca, with others, that the 
scrupulous person is bound, under strict obligation, to act 
in opposition to scruples, when from such scruples there 
is reason to apprehend grievous harm happening to soul 
or body, such as the loss of health, or of intellect ; 
wherefore scrupulous persons ought to have greater 
scruple at not obeying the confessor than at acting in 
opposition to their scruples. 

To sum up, therefore, all that has been said in this 
chapter, our salvation and perfection consist: i. In de 
nying ourselves; 2. In following the will of God; 3. In 
praying him always to give us strength to do both one 
and the other. 

3 Introd. p. I, c. 4. 

4 1 4 Practice of the Love of Jesiis Christ. 

Affections and Prayers. 

What have I in heaven ? and besides Thee what do I desire 
upon earth ? Thou art the God of my Jieart, and the God that is 
my portion forever? My beloved Redeemer, infinitely amiable, 
since Thou hast come down from heaven to give Thyself wholly 
to me, what else shall I seek for on earth or in heaven besides 
Thee, who art the sovereign good, the only good worthy to be 
loved ? Be Thou, then, the sole Lord of my heart, do Thou 
possess it entirely : may my soul love Thee alone, obey Thee 
alone, and seek to please no other than Thee. Let others 
enjoy the riches of this world, I wish only for Thee : Thou art 
and shalt ever be my treasure in this life and in eternity 
Wherefore I give Thee, O my Jesus, my whole heart and all my 
will. It was at one time, alas ! a rebel against Thee ; but now 
I dedicate it wholly to Thee. Lord, what wilt Tkou have me 
to do?" 1 Tell me what Thou requirest of me, and lend me Thy 
assistance; for I wiil leave nothing undone. Dispose of me, 
and of all that concerns me, as Thou pleasest ; I accept of all, 
and resign myself to all. O Love deserving of infinite love, 
Thou hast loved me so as even to die for me ; I love Thee with 
my whole heart, I love Thee more "than myself, and into Thy 
hands I abandon my soul. On this very day I bid farewell to 
every worldly affection, I take leave of everything created, and 
I give myself without reserve to Thee ; Through the merits of 
Thy Passion receive me, and make me faithful unto death. My 
Jesus, my Jesus, from this day forward I will live only for Thee, 
I will love none but Thee, I will seek nothing else than to do 
Thy blessed will. 

Aid me by Thy grace, and aid me, too, by thy protection, O 
Mary my hope. 

1 Quid mihi est in coelo ? et a te quid volui super terram ? . . . Deus 
cordis mei, et pars mea, Deus, in seternum." Ps. Ixxii. 25. 

2 " Domine quid me vis facere?" Acts, ix. 6. 

CHAP, x.] /. Infirmities. 4 1 5 



(Charitas omnia suffert?) 

He that loves Jesus Christ bears all Things for Jesus Christ, 
and especially Illnesses, Poverty, and Contempt. 

IN Chapter I. we spoke of the virtue of patience in 
general. In this we will speak of certain matters in par 
ticular, which demand the especial practice of patience. 

Father Balthazar Alvarez 1 said that a Christian need 
not imagine himself to have made any progress until he 
has succeeded in penetrating his heart with a lasting 
sense of the sorrows, poverty, and ignominies of Jesus 
Christ so as to support with loving patience every sort 
of sorrow, privation, and contempt, for the sake of Jesus 

Patience in Sickness. 

In the first place, let us speak of bodily infirmities, 
which, when borne with patience, merit for us a beautiful 

St. Vincent de Paul said: "Did we but know how 
precious a treasure is contained in infirmities, we should 
accept of them with joy as the greatest possible blessings." 
Hence the saint himself, though constantly afflicted with 
ailments, that often left him no rest day or night, bore 
them with so much peace and such serenity of counte 
nance that no one could guess that anything ailed him 
at all. Oh, how edifying is it to see a sick person bear 

1 Life, ch. 3. 

41 6 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

his illness with a peaceful countenance, as did St. Fran 
cis de Sales ! When he was ill, he simply explained his 
complaint to the physician, obeyed him exactly by tak 
ing the prescribed medicines, however nauseous; and 
for the rest he remained at peace, never uttering a single 
complaint in all his sufferings. What a contrast to this 
is the conduct of those who do nothing but complain 
even for the most trifling indisposition, and who would 
like to have around them all their relatives and friends 
to sympathize with them ! Far different was the in 
struction of St. Teresa to her nuns: "My sisters, learn 
to suffer something for the love of Jesus Christ, without 
letting all the world know of it." ] One Good Friday 
Jesus Christ favored the Venerable Father Louis da 
Ponte with so much bodily suffering, that no part of him 
was exempt from its particular pain: he mentioned his 
severe sufferings to a friend; but he was afterwards so 
sorry at having done so, that he made a vow never again 
to reveal to anybody whatever he might afterwards 
suffer. I say "he was favored;" for, to the saints, the 
illnesses and pains which God sends them are real 
favors. One day St. Francis of Assisi lay on his bed in 
excruciating torments; a companion said to him: "Fa 
ther, beg God to ease your pains, and not to lay so 
heavy a hand upon you." On hearing this, the saint 
instantly leaped from his bed, and going on his knees, 
thanked God for his sufferings; then, turning to his 
companion, he said: "Listen, did I not know that you 
so spoke from simplicity, I would refuse ever to see you 
again." 2 

Some one that is sick will say, it is not so much the 
infirmity itself that afflicts me, as that it disables me 
from going to church to perform my devotions, to com 
municate, and to hear Holy Mass; I cannot go to choir 

1 Way of P erf . ch. 12. 2 Vita, c. 14, 

CHAP, x.] /. Infirmities. 417 

to recite the divine Office with my brethren; I cannot 
celebrate Mass; I cannot pray; for my head is aching 
with pain, and is light almost to fainting. But tell me 
now, if you please, why do you wish to go to church or 
to choir ? why would you communicate and say or hear 
Holy Mass ? is it to please God ? but it is not now the 
pleasure of God that you say the Office, that you com 
municate, or hear Mass; but that you remain patiently on 
this bed, and support the pains of this infirmity. But 
you are displeased with my speaking thus; then you 
are not seeking to do what is pleasing to God, but what 
is pleasing to yourself. The Venerable John of Avila 
wrote as follows to a priest who so complained to him: 
" My friend, busy not yourself with what you would do 
if you were well, but be content to remain ill as long as 
God thinks fit. If you seek the will of God, what mat 
ters it to you whether you be well or ill ?" 

You say you are unable even to pray, because your 
head is weak. Be it so: you cannot meditate; but why 
cannot you make acts of resignation to the will of God ? 
If you would only make these acts, you could not make 
a better prayer, welcoming with love all the torments 
that assail you. So did St. Vincent of Paul: when at 
tacked by a serious illness, he was wont to keep himself 
tranquilly in the presence of God, without forcing his 
mind to dwell on any particular subject; his sole exer 
cise was to elicit some short acts from time to time, as 
of love, of confidence, of thanksgiving, and more fre 
quently of resignation, especially in the crisis of his suf 
ferings. St. Francis de Sales made this remark: "Con 
sidered in themselves, tribulations are terrifying ; but 
considered in the will of God, they are lovely and de 
lightful. " You cannot say prayers; and what more 
exquisite prayer than to cast a look from time to time 

1 Part 2, Rp. 54. 2 Love of God- B. 9, ch. 2. 


4i 8 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

on your crucified Lord, and to offer him your pains, 
uniting the little that you endure to the overwhelming 
torments that afflicted Jesus on the cross ! 

There was a certain pious lady lying bedridden with 
many disorders; and on the servant putting the crucifix 
into her hand, and telling her to pray to God to deliver 
her from her miseries, she made answer: " But how can 
you desire me to seek to descend from the cross, whilst 
I hold in my hand a God crucified ? God forbid chat I 
should do so. I will suffer for him who chose to suffer 
torments for me incomparably greater than mine." 
This was, indeed, precisely what Jesus Christ said to St. 
Teresa when she was laboring under serious illness; he 
appeared to her all covered with wounds, and then said 
to her: " Behold, my daughter, the bitterness of my suf 
ferings, and consider if yours equal mine." Hence the 
saint was accustomed to say, in the midst of #11 her in 
firmities: "When I remember in how many ways my 
Saviour suffered, though he was innocence itself, I know 
not how it could enter my head to complain of my suf 
ferings." During a period of thirty-eight years, St. Lid- 
wine was afflicted with numberless evils fevers, gout in 
the feet and hands, and sores, all her lifetime; neverthe 
less, from never losing sight of the sufferings of Jesus 
Christ, she maintained an unbroken cheerfulness and joy. 
In like manner, St. Joseph of Leonessa, a Capuchin, when 
the surgeon was about to amputate his arm, and his 
brethren would have bound him, to prevent him from 
stirring through vehemence of pain, seized hold of the 
crucifix and exclaimed: "Wherefore bind me? where 
fore bind me ? behold who it is that binds me to support 
every suffering patiently for love of him;" and so he bore 
the operation without a murmur. St. Jonas the Martyr, 
after passing the entire night immersed in ice by order 

1 Life, addit. 

CHAP, x.j / Infirmities. 419 

of the tyrant, declared next morning that he had never 
spent a happier night, because he had pictured to him 
self Jesus hanging on the cross; and thus, compared 
with the torments of Jesus, his own had seemed rather 
caresses than torments. 

Oh, what abundance of merits may be accumulated 
by patiently enduring illnesses ! Almighty God revealed 
to Father Balthazar Alvarez the great glory he had in 
store for a certain nun, who had borne a painful sick 
ness with resignation; and told him that she had ac 
quired greater merit in those eight months of her illness 
than some other religious in many years. It is by the 
patient endurance of ill-health that we weave a great 
part, and perhaps the greater part, of the crown that God 
destines for us in heaven. St. Lidwine had a revelation 
to this effect. After sustaining many and most cruel 
disorders, as we mentioned above, she prayed to die a 
martyr for the love of Jesus Christ; now as she was one 
day sighing after this martyrdom, she suddenly saw a 
beautiful crown, but still incomplete, and she understood 
that it was destined for herself; whereupon the saint, 
longing to behold it completed, entreated the Lord to 
increase her sufferings. Her prayer was heard, for some 
soldiers came shortly after, and ill-treated her, not only 
with injurious words, but with blows and outrages. An 
angel then appeared to her with the crown completed, 
and informed her that those last injuries had added to it 
the gems that were wanting; and shortly afterwards she 

Ah, yes ! to the hearts that fervently love Jesus Christ, 
pains and ignominies are most delightful. And thus we 
see the holy martyrs going with gladness to encounter 
the sharp prongs and hooks of iron, the plates of glowing 
steel and axes. The martyr St. Procopius thus spoke 
to the tyrant who tortured him: u Torment me as you 
like; but know at the same time, that nothing is sweeter 

420 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

to the lover of Jesus Christ than to suffer for his sake." 
St. Gordius, Martyr, replied in the same way to the 
tyrant who threatened him death: "Thou threatenest 
me with death; but I am only sorry that I cannot die 
more than once for my own beloved Jesus." 2 And I ask. 
did these saints speak thus because they were insensible 
to pain or weak in intellect ? " No," replies St. Bernard; 
" not insensibility, but love caused this." 3 They were 
not insensible, for they felt well enough the torments in 
flicted on them; but since they loved God, they es 
teemed it a great privilege to suffer for God, and to lose 
all, even life itself, for the love of God. 

Above all, in time of sickness we should be ready to 
accept of death, and of that death which God pleases. 
We must die, and our life must finish in our last illness; 
nor do we know which will be our last illness. Where 
fore in every illness we must be prepared to accept that 
death which God has appointed for us. A sick person 
says: "Yes; but I have committed many sins, and have 
done no penance. I should like to live, not for the sake 
of living, but to make some satisfaction to God before 
my death." But tell me, my brother, how do you know 
that if you live longer you will do penance, and not 
rather do worse than before? At present you can well 
cherish the hope that God has pardoned you; what pen 
ance can be more satisfactory than to accept of death 
with resignation, if God so wills it? St. Aloysius Gon- 
zaga, at the age of twenty-three, gladly embraced death 
with this reflection: "At present," he said, " I am, as I 
hope, in the grace of God. Hereafter, I know not what 
may befall me; so that I now die contentedly, if God 
calls me to the next life." It was the opinion of Father 

1 Ap. Sur. 8 Jul. 

2 S. Bas. horn, in Gord. M. 

3 " Neque hoc facit stupor, sed amor." In Cant. s. 61. 

4 Life, ch. 25. 

CHAP, x.i //. Poverty. 421 

John of Avila that every one, provided he be in good 
dispositions, though only moderately good, should desire 
death, to escape the danger, which always surrounds us 
in this world, of possibly sinning and losing the grace of 

Besides, owing to our natural frailty, we cannot live in 
this world without committing at least venial sins; this 
should be a motive for us to embrace death willingly, 
that we may never offend God any more. Further, if 
we truly love God, we should ardently long to go to see 
him, and love him with all our strength in Paradise, 
which no one can do perfectly in this present life; but 
unless death open us the door, we cannot enter that 
blessed region of love. This caused St. Augustine, that 
loving soul, to cry out: "Oh, let me die, Lord, that I 
may behold Thee !" O Lord, let me die, otherwise I 
cannot behold and love Thee face to face. 

Patience in Poverty. 

In the second place, we must practise patience in the 
endurance of poverty. Our patience is certainly very 
much tried when we are in need of temporal goods. St. 
Augustine said: "He that has not God, has nothing; 
he that has God, has all." 2 He who possesses God, and 
remains united to his blessed will, finds every good. 
Witness St. Francis, barefooted, clad in sackcloth, and 
deprived of all things, yet happier than all the monarchs 
of the world, by simply repeating, "My God and my 
all." ; A poor man is properly he that has not what he 
desires; but he that desires nothing, and is contented 
with his poverty, is in fact very rich. Of such St. Paul 

" Eia, Domine! moriar, ut te videam." SoL an. ad D. c. i. 
8 Sertn. 85, E. B. 
8 " Deus meus, et omnia." 

422 Practice of the Love of Jesiis Christ. 

says: Having nothing, yet possessing all things? The true 
lovers of God have nothing, and yet have everything; 
since, when temporal goods fail them, they exclaim: 
"My Jesus, Thou alone art sufficient for me;" and with 
this they rest satisfied. Not only did the saints main 
tain patience in poverty, but sought to be despoiled of 
all, in order to live detached from all, and united with 
God alone. If we have not courage enough to renounce 
all worldly goods, at all events let us be contented with 
that state of life in which God has placed us; let our 
solicitude be not for earthly goods, but for those of 
Paradise, which are immeasurably greater, and last for 
ever; and let us be fully persuaded of what St. Teresa 
says: "The less we have here, the more we shall have 
there/ 2 

St. Bonaventure said that temporal goods were nothing 
more than a sort of bird-lime to hinder the soul from 
flying to God. And St. John Climacus 3 said, that pov 
erty, on the contrary, is a path which leads to God free 
of all hindrances. Our Lord himself said: Blessed are 
the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven? In the 
other Beatitudes, the heaven of the life to come is prom 
ised to the meek and to the clean of heart; but to the 
poor, heaven (that is, heavenly joy) is promised even in 
this life : theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Yes, for even in 
the present life the poor enjoy a foretaste of paradise. 
By the poor in spirit are meant those who are not merely 
poor in earthly goods, but who do not so much as desire 
thbem; who, having enough to clothe and feed them, live 
contented, according to the advice of the Apostle : But 
having food, and wherewith to be covered, with these we are 

1 " Nihil habentes, et omnia possidentes." 2 Cor. vi. 10. 

2 Fotmd. ch. 14. 

3 Scala sp. gr. 17. 

4 " Beati pauperes spiritu, quoniam ipsorum est regnum coelorutn." 
Matt. v. 3. 

CHAP, x.] //. Poverty. 423 

content. 1 Oh, blessed poverty (exclaimed St. Laurence 
Justinian), which possesses nothing and fears nothing; 
she is ever joyous and ever in abundance, since she 
turns every inconvenience into advantage for the soul. 2 
St. Bernard said: "The avaricious man hungers after 
earthly things as a beggar, the poor man despises them 
as a lord." The miser is always hungry as a beggar, 
because he is never satiated with the possessions he 
desires; the poor man, on the contray, despises them all 
as a rich lord, inasmuch as he desires nothing. 

One day Jesus Christ thus spoke to the Blessed Angela 
of Foligno: " If poverty were not of great excellence, I 
would not have chosen it for myself, nor have bequeathed 
it to my elect.". And, in fact, the saints, seeing Jesus 
poor, had therefore a great affection for poverty. St. 
Paul says, that the desire of growing rich is a snare of 
Satan, by which he has wrought the ruin of innumerable 
souls: They that will become rich, fall into temptation, and 
into the snare of the devil, and into many unprofitable and 
hurtful desires, which drown men into destruction and perdi 
tion* Unhappy beings who, for the sake of vile creatures 
of earth, forfeit an infinite good, which is God ! St. 
Basil the Martyr was quite in the right, when the Em 
peror Licinius proposed to make him the chief among 
his priests, if he would renounce Jesus Christ; he was 
right, I say, to reply: "Tell the emperor, that were he 
to give me his whole kingdom, he would not give me as 
much as he would rob me of, by depriving me of God." 5 

1 " Habentes autem alimenta et quibus tegamur, his content! 
sumus." i Tim. vi. 8. 

2 De Disc. man. c. 2. 

" Avarus terrena esurit ut mendicus, fidelis contemnit ut domi- 
nus." In Cant. s.. 21. 

4 "Qui volunt divites fieri, incidunt ... in laqueum diaboli et 
desideria . . . nociva, quae mergunt homines in interitum et perdi- 
tionem. i Tim. vi. 9. 

5 Boll April 2b, Act. n. n. 

424 Practice of tJie Love of Jesus Christ. 

Let us be content then with God, and with those things 
which he gives us, rejoicing in our poverty, when we 
stand in need of something we desire, and have it not; 
for herein consists our merit. "Not poverty," says St. 
Bernard, " but the love of poverty, is reckoned a virtue." 
Many are poor, but from not loving their poverty, they 
merit nothing ; therefore St. Bernard says, that the 
virtue of poverty consists not in being poor, but in the 
love of poverty, 

This love of poverty should be especially practised by 
religious who have made the vow of poverty. "Many 
religious," says the same St. Bernard, " wish to be poor; 
but on the condition of wanting for ii-wll-I-g." a " Thus," 
says St. Francis de Sales, " they wish for the honor of 
poverty, but not the inconveniences of poverty." 8 To 
such persons is applicable the saying of the Blessed 
Salomea, a nun of St. Clare : " That religious shall be a 
laughing-stock to angels and to men, who pretends to be 
poor, and yet murmurs when she is in want of some 
thing." Good religious act differently; they love their 
poverty above all riches. The daughter of the Emperor 
Maximilian II., a discalced nun of St. Clare, called Sister 
Margaret of the Cross, appeared en cr.s occasion before 
her brother, the Archduke Albert, in a patched-up habit, 
who evinced some astonishment, as if it were unbecom 
ing her noble birth ; but she made him this answer: 
"My brother, I am more content with this torn garment 
than all monarchs with their purple robes." St. Mary 
Magdalene of Pazzi said : " O happy religious ! who, 
detached from all by means of holy poverty, can say, 

1 "Non paupertas virtus reputatur, sed paupertatis amor." Epist. 

2 " Pauperes esse volunt, eo tamen pacto, ut nihil eis desit." In 
Adv. D. s. 4. 

3 Introd. ch. 16. 

CHAP, x.] //. Poverty. 425 

The Lord is the portion of my inheritance? "My God, 
Thou art my portion and all my good." 2 St. Teresa, 
having received a large alms from a certain merchant, 
sent him word that his name was written in the Book of 
Life, and that, in token of this, he should lose all his 
possessions; and the merchant actually failed, and re 
mained in poverty till death. St. Aloysius Gonzaga 
said that there could be no surer sign that a person is 
numbered among the elect, than to see him fearing God, 
and at the same time undergoing crosses and tribulations 
in this life. 

The bereavement of relatives and friends by death be 
longs also, in some measure, to holy poverty; and in this 
we must especially practise patience. Some people, at 
the loss of a parent or friend, can find no rest; they shut 
themselves up to weep in their chamber, and giving free 
vent to their sorrow, become insupportable to all around 
them, by their want of patience. I would ask these per 
sons, for whose gratification they thus lament and shed 
tears? For that of God ? Certainly not; for God s will is, 
that they should be resigned to his dispensations. For 
that of the soul departed ? By no means: if the soul be 
lost, she abhors both you and your tears; if she be saved, 
and already in heaven, she would have you thank God on 
her part; if still in purgatory, she craves the help of your 
prayers, and wishes you to bow with resignation to the 
divine will, and to become a saint, in order that she may 
one day enjoy your society in paradise. Of what use, 
then, is all this weeping ? On one occasion, the Venerable 
Father Joseph Caracciolo, the Theatine, was surrounded 
by his relatives, who were all bitterly lamenting the 
death of his brother, whereupon he said to them: 
<* Come, come ! let us keep these tears for a better pur 
pose, to weep over the death of Jesus Christ, who has 

1 " Dominus pars haereditatis meae. " Ps. xv. 5. 
8 Cepar. c. 22. 

426 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

been to us a father, a brother, and spouse, and who died 
for love of us." On such occasions we must imitate Job, 
who, on hearing the news of the death of his sons, ex 
claimed, with full resignation to the Divine will, The 
Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away God gave me 
my sons, and God hath taken them away. As it hath 
pleased the Lord, so is it done : blessed be the name of the 
Lord ; J it hath pleased God that such things should hap 
pen, and so it pleaseth me; wherefore may he be blessed 
bv me forever. 

Patience under Contempt. 

In the third place, we must practise patience, and 
show our love to God, by tranquilly submitting to con 

As soon as a soul delivers herself up to God, he sends 
her from himself, or through others, insults and perse 
cution. One day an angel appeared to the Blessed 
Henry Suso and said to him, " Henry, thou hast hitherto 
mortified thyself in thy own way; henceforth thou shalt 
be mortified after the pleasure of others." On the day 
following, as he was looking from a window on the street, 
he saw a dog shaking and tearing a rag which it held 
in its mouth; at the same moment a voice said to him, 
" So hast thou to be torn in the mouths of men." Forth 
with the Blessed Henry descended into the street and 
secured the rag, putting it by to encourage him in his 
coming trials. 2 

Affronts and injuries were the delicacies the saints 
earnestly longed and sought for. St. Philip Neri, dur 
ing the space of thirty years, had to put up with much 

1 " Dominus dedit, Dominus abstulit : sicut Domino placuit, ita 
factum est; sit nomen Domini benedictum." Job, i. 21. 
* Life, ch. 22. 

CHAP, x.] ///. Contempt. 427 

ill-treatment in the house of St. Jerome at Rome; but 
on this very account he refused to leave it, and resisted 
all the invitations of his sons to come and live with them 
in the new Oratory, founded by himself, till he received 
an express command from the Pope to do so. So St. 
John of the Cross was prescribed change of air for an 
illness which eventually carried him to the grave; now, 
he could have selected a more commodious convent, of 
which the Prior was particularly attached to him; but 
he chose instead a poor convent, whose Prior was his 
enemy, and who, in fact, for a long time, and almost 
up to his dying day, spoke ill of him, and abused him 
in many ways, and even prohibited the other monks 
from visiting him. Here we see how the saints even 
sought to be despised. St. Teresa wrote this admir 
able maxim: "Whoever aspires to perfection must be 
ware of ever saying: They had no reason to treat Die so. 
If you will not bear any cross but one which is founded 
on reason, then perfection is not for you." Whilst St. 
Peter Martyr was complaining in prison of being con 
fined unjustly, he received that celebrated answer from 
the Crucifix: our Lord said to him, " And what evil have 
I done, that I suffer and die on this cross for men ?" Oh, 
what consolation do the saints derive in all their tribu 
lations from the ignominies which Jesus Christ endured ! 
St. Eleazar, on being asked by his wife how he contrived 
to bear with so much patience the many injuries which 
he had to sustain, and that even from his own servants, 
replied: "I turn my looks on the outraged Jesus, and 
I discover immediately that my affronts are a mere 
nothing in comparison with what he suffered -for my 
sake; and thus God gives me strength to support all 

In fine, affronts, poverty, torments, and all tribulations, 
serve only to estrange further from God the soul that 
does not love him; whereas, when they befall a soul in 

428 Practice of the Love of jcsus Christ. 

love with God, they become an instrument of closer 
union and more ardent love of God : Many waters 
cannot quench charity. 1 - However great and grievous 
troubles may be, so far from extinguishing the flames of 
charity, they only serve to enkindle them the more in a 
soul that loves nothing else but God. 

But wherefore does Almighty God load us with so 
many crosses, and take pleasure in seeing us afflicted, re 
viled, persecuted, and ill-treated by the world ? Is he, 
perchance, a tyrant, whose cruel disposition makes him 
rejoice in our suffering? No: God is by no means a 
tyrant, nor cruel; he is all compassion and love towards 
us; suffice it to say, that he has died for us. He indeed 
does rejoice at our suffering, but for our good; inasmuch 
as, by suffering here, we are released hereafter from the 
debt of torments justly due from us to his divine justice; 
he rejoices in them, because they detach us from the 
sensual pleasures of this world: when a mother would 
wean her child, she puts gall on the breast, in order to 
create a disgust in the child; he rejoices in them, because 
we give him, by our patience and resignation in bear 
ing them, a token of our love ; in fine, he rejoices in 
them, because they contribute to our increase of glory in 
heaven. Such are the reasons for which the Almighty, 
in his compassion and love towards us, is pleased at our 

Let us now draw this chapter to a conclusion. That 
we may be able to practise patience to advantage in all 
our tribulations, we must be fully persuaded that every 
trial comes from the hands of God, either directly, or in 
directly through men; we must therefore render God 
thanks whenever we are beset with sorrows, and accept, 
with gladness of heart, of every event, prosperous or ad 
verse, that proceeds from him, knowing that all happens 

1 " Aquse multse non potuerunt exstinguere charitatem." Cant. 
viii. 7. 

CHAP, x.] ///. Contempt. 429 

by his disposition forour welfare: To them that love God all 
things work together unto good. 1 In addition to this, it is 
well in our tribulations to glance a moment at that hell 
which we have formerly deserved: for assuredly all the 
pains of this life are incomparably smaller than the aw 
ful pains of hell. But above all, prayer, by which we 
gain the divine assistance, is the great means to suffer 
patiently all affliction, scorn, and contradictions; and is 
that which will furnish us with the strength which we 
have not of ourselves. The saints were persuaded of 
this; they recommended themselves to God, and so over 
came every kind of torments and persecutions. 

Affections and Prayers. 

O Lord, I am fully persuaded that without suffering, and suf 
fering with patience, I cannot win the crown of Paradise. David 
said : From Him is my patience? And I say the same ; my 
patience in suffering must come from Thee. I make many pur 
poses to accept in peace of all tribulations ; but no sooner are 
they at hand than I grow sad and alarmed ; and if I suffer, I 
suffer without merit and without love, because I know not how 
to suffer them so as to please Thee. O my Jesus, through the 
merits of Thy patience in bearing so many afflictions for love of 
me, grant me the grace to bear crosses for the love of Thee ! I 
love Thee with my whole heart, O my dear Redeemer ! I love 
Thee, my sovereign good ! I love Thee, my own love, worthy of 
infinite love. I am grieved at any displeasure I have ever caused 
Thee, more than for any evil whatever. I promise Thee to re 
ceive with patience all the trials Thou mayest send me ; but I 
look to Thee for help to be faithful to my promise, and especi 
ally to be enabled to bear in peace the throes of my last agony 
and death. 

Mary, my Queen, vouchsafe to obtain for me a true resig 
nation in all the anguish and trials that await me in life and 

1 " Diligcntibus Deum omnia cooperantur in bonum." Roni.vm. 28. 

2 " Ab ipso patientia mea." Ps. Ixi. 6. 

430 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 



(Charitas omnia credit.} 
He that loves Jesus Christ believes all His Words. 

WHOEVER loves a person, believes all that proceeds 
from the lips of that person; consequently, the more a 
soul loves Jesus Christ, the more lively and unshaken is 
her faith. When the good thief beheld our Redeemer, 
though he had done no ill, suffering death upon the 
cross with such patience, he began at once to love him; 
under the influence of this love, and of the divine light 
which then broke upon his soul, he believed that this 
was truly the Son of God, and begged not to be for 
gotten by him when he should have passed into his king 

Faith is the foundation of charity ; but faith after 
wards receives its perfection from charity. His faith is 
most perfect whose love of God is most perfect. Charity 
produces in man not merely the faith of the understand 
ing, but the faith of the will also: those who believe only 
with the understanding, but not with the will, as is the 
case with sinners who are perfectly convinced of the 
truths of the faith, but do not choose to live according 
to the divine commandments, such as these have a very 
weak faith; for had they a more lively belief that the 
grace of God is a priceless treasure, and that sin, because 
it. robs us of this grace, is the worst of evils, they would 
assuredly change their lives. If, then, they prefer the 
miserable creatures of this earth to God, it is because 
they either do not believe, or because their faith is very 
weak. On the contrary, he who believes not only with 

CHAP, xi.] Faith. 43 1 

the understanding, but also with the will, so that he not 
only believes, but has the will to believe in God, the re- 
vealer of truth, from the love he has for him, and rejoices 
in so believing, such a one has a perfect faith, and con 
sequently seeks to make his life conformable to the truths 
that he believes. 

Weakness of faith, however, in those who live in sin, 
does not spring from the obscurity of faith; for though 
God, in order to make our faith more meritorious, has 
veiled the objects of faith in darkness and secresy, he 
has at the same time given us so clear and convincing 
evidence of their truth, that not to believe them would 
argue not merely a lack of sense, but sheer madness and 
impiety. The weakness of the faith of many persons is to 
be traced to their wickedness of living. He who, rather 
than forego the enjoyment of forbidden pleasures, scorns 
the divine friendship, would wish there were no law to 
forbid, and no chastisement to punish, his sin; on this ac 
count he strives to blind himself to the eternal truths of 
death, judgment, and hell, and of divine justice; and be 
cause such subjects strike too much terror into his heart, 
and are too apt to mix bitterness in his cup of pleasure, he 
sets his brain to work to discover proofs, which have at 
least the look of plausibility; and by which he allows 
himself to be flattered into the persuasion that there is 
no soul, no God, no hell, in order that he may live 
and die like the brute beasts, without laws and without 

And tliis laxity of morals is the source whence have 
issued, and still issue daily, so many books and systems 
of Materialists, Indifferentists, Politicists, Deists, and 
Naturalists; some among them deny the divine exist 
ence, and some the divine Providence, saying that God, 
after having created men, takes no further notice of 
them, and is heedless whether they love or hate him 
whether they be saved or lost; others, again, deny the 

432 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

goodness of God, and maintain that he has created 
numberless souls for hell, becoming himself their tempter 
to sin, that so they may damn themselves, and go into 
everlasting fire, to curse him there forever. 

Oh, ingratitude and wickedness of men ! God has 
created them in his mercy, to make them eternally 
happy in heaven; he has poured on them so many lights, 
benefits, and graces, to bring them to eternal life; for the 
same end he has redeemed them at the price of so many 
sorrows and sufferings; and yet they strive to deny all, 
that they may give free rein to their vicious inclinations ! 
But no: let them strive as they will, the unhappy beings 
cannot wrest themselves from remorse of conscience, 
and the dread of the divine vengeance. On this subject 
I have latterly published a work, entitled The Truth of 
Faith, in which I have clearly shown the inconsistency 
of all these systems of modern unbelievers. Oh, if they 
would but once- forsake sin, and apply themselves 
earnestly to the love of Jesus Christ, they -would then 
most certainly cast away all doubts about things of 
faith, and firmly believe all the truths that God has re 
vealed ! 

The true lover of Jesus Christ keeps the eternal truths 
constantly in view, and orders all his actions according 
to them. Oh, how thoroughly does he who loves Jesus 
Christ understand the force of that saying of the Wise 
Man, Vanity of vanities, and all is vanity? that all earthly 
greatness is mere smoke, dirt, and delusion; that the 
soul s only welfare and happiness consists in loving its 
Creator, and in doing his blessed will; that we are, in 
reality, no more than what we are before God; that it is 
of no use to gain the whole world, if the soul be lost; 
that all the goods in the world can never satisfy the hu 
man heart, but only God himself; and, in fine, that we 
must leave all in order to gain all. 

1 " Vanitas vanitatum, et omnia vanitas." Eccles. i. 2. 

CHAP. XL] Faith. 433 

Charity believeth all things. 1 There are other Christians, 
though not so perverse as the class we have men 
tioned, who would fain believe in nothing, that they may 
give full scope to their unruly passions, and live on un 
disturbed by the stings of remorse, there are others, I 
say, who believe, indeed, but their faith is languid; they 
believe the most holy mysteries of religion, the truths of 
Revelation contained in the Gospel, the Trinity, the Re 
demption, the holy Sacraments, and the rest; still they 
do not believe all. Jesus Christ has said : Blessed are 
the poor; blessed are tJie sorrowful; blessed are the mortified; 
blessed are those whom men persecute, calumniate^ and curse. 
Blessed are the poor; blessed are they that hunger; blessed 
are they that suffer persecution; blessed are you when men 
shall revile you, and shall say all manner of evil against you? 
This is the teaching of Jesus Christ in the Gospel. How, 
then, can it be said, that those believe in the Gospel 
who say: " Blessed are those who have money; blessed 
are those who suffer nothing; blessed are those w r ho can 
take their amusements; pitiable is the man that suffers 
persecution and ill-treatment from others"? We must 
certainly say of such as these, that either they do not 
believe the Gospel, or that they believe only a part of 
it. He who believes it all esteems it his highest for 
tune, and a mark of the divine favor in this world, to be 
poor, to be sick, to be mortified, to be despised and ill- 
treated by men. Such is the belief, and such the lan 
guage, of one who believes all that is said in the Gospel, 
and has a real love for Jesus Christ. 

Affections and Prayers. 

My beloved Redeemer, O life of my soul, I firmly believe that 
Thou art the only good worthy of being loved. I believe that 

1 " Charitas omnia credit." 

2 " Beati pauperes. Beati qui lugent. Beati qui esuriunt. 
Beati qui persecutionem patiuntur. Beati estis cum maledixerint 
vobis, . . . et dixerint omne malum ad versus vos." ]\fntt, v. 3-11. 


434 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

Thou art the greatest lover of my soul, since through love alone 
Thou didst Mie, overwhelmed with sorrows for love of me. I 
believe there is no greater blessing in this world, or in the next, 
than to love Thee, and to do Thy adorable will. All this I be 
lieve most firmly ; so that I renounce all things, that I may 
belong wholly to Thee, and that I may possess Thee alone. 
Help me, through the merits of Thy sacred Passion, and make 
me such as Thou wouldst have me to be. I believe in Thee, O 
infallible truth ! I trust in Thee, O infinite mercy ! I love 
Thee, O infinite goodness ! O infinite love, I give myself wholly 
to Thee, who hast wholly given Thyself to me in Thy Passion, 
and in the holy Sacrament of the Altar. 

And I recommend myself to Thee, O Mary, refuge of sinners, 
and Mother of God ! 



(Charitas omnia sperat.} 
He that loves Jesus Christ hopes for all Things from Him. 

HOPE increases charity, and charity increases hope. 

Hope in the divine goodness undoubtedly gives an in 
crease to our love of Jesus Christ. St. Thomas says, that 
in the very moment when we hope to receive some benefit 
from a person, we begin also to love him, 1 On this ac 
count, the Lord forbids us to put our trust in creatures : 
Put not your trust in princes? Further, he pronounces a 
curse on those who do so : Cursed be tJie man that trusteth 
in man? God does not wish us to trust in creatures, 

1 "Ex hoc enim quod per aliquem speramus nobis posse provenire 
bona, movemur in ipsum sicut in bonum nostrum, et sic incipimus 
ipsum amare." i. 2, q. 40, a. 7. 

2 " Nolite confidere in principibus." Ps. cxlv. 2. 

* " Maledictus homo qui confidit in homine." Jer. xvii. 5. 

CHAP, xii.] Hope. 435 

because he does not wish us to fix our love upon them. 
Hence St. Vincent of Paul said: " Let us beware of re 
posing too much confidence in men; for when God be 
holds us thus leaning on them for support, he himself 
withdraws from us." On the other hand, the more we 
trust in God, the more we shall advance in his holy 
love: I have run the way of Thy commandments, when Thou 
didst enlarge my heart? Oh, how rapidly does that soul 
advance in perfection that has her heart dilated with 
confidence in God ! She flies rather than runs; for by 
making God the foundation of all her hope, she flings 
aside her own weakness, and borrows the strength of 
God himself, which is communicated to all who place 
their confidence in him: They that hope in the Lord shall 
renew their strength, they shall take wings as eagles, they shall 
run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint? The 
eagle is the bird that soars nearest the sun; in like man 
ner, the soul that has God for her trust becomes detached 
from the earth, and more and more united to God by 

Now as hope increases the love of God, so does love 
help to increase hope; for charity makes us the adopted 
sons of God. In the natural order we are the work of 
his hands; but in the supernatural order we are made 
sons of God, and partakers of the divine nature, through 
the merits of Jesus Christ; as the Apostle St. Peter 
writes: Tliat by these you may be made partakers of the Divine 
nature? And if charity, makes us the sons of God, it 
consequently makes us heirs of heaven, according to 

" Viam mandatorum tuorum cucurri, cum dilatasti cor meum." 
Ps. cxviii. 32. 

2 " Qui autem sperant in Domino, mutabunt fortitudinem, assument 
pennas sicut aquilae, current et non laborabunt, ambulabunt et non 
deficient." Is. xl. 31. 

:$ "Ut per haec efficiamini divin ae naturae consortes." 2 Pet. i. 4. 

43 6 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

St. Paul : And if sons, heirs also. 1 Now a son claims the 
right of abiding under the paternal roof; an heir is en 
titled to the property; and thus charity increases the 
hope of Paradise : so that the souls that love God cry out 
incessantly, " Thy kingdom come, Thy kingdom come !" 2 
Moreover, God loves those who love him : / love them 
that love Afe. 3 He showers down his graces on those that 
seek him by love : The Lord is good to the soul that seeketh 
Him? Consequently, the soul that loves God most has 
the greatest hope in his goodness. This confidence pro 
duces that imperturbable tranquillity in the saints which 
makes them always joyful and full of peace, even amid 
the severest trials; for their love of Jesus Christ, and 
their persuasion of his liberality towards those who love 
him, leads them to trust solely in him; and thus they 
find a lasting repose. The sacred spouse abounded with 
delights, because she loved none but her Spouse, and 
leaned entirely on him for support; she was full of con 
tentment, since she well knew how generous her beloved 
is towards all that love him; so that of her it is written : 
Who is this that cometh up from the desert, flowing with de 
lights, leaning upon her Beloved? & These words of the Wise 
Man are most true : All good things come to me together with 
her* With charity, all blessings are introduced into the 

The primary object of Christian hope is God, whom 
the soul enjoys in the kingdom of heaven. But we must 
not suppose that the hope of enjoying God in Paradise 
is any obstacle to charity; since the hope of Paradise is 

1 "Si autem filii, et hseredes." Rom. viii. 17. 

2 " Adveniat, adveniat regnum tuum." 

3 " Ego diligentes me diligo." Prov. viii. 17. 

4 " Bonus est Dominus. . . . animse quaerenti ilium." Lam.iii>2$. 

5 "Quse est ista quse ascendet de deserto, deliciis affluens, innixa 
super Dilectum suum ?" Cant. viii. 5. 

6 " Venerunt autem mihi omnia bona pariter cum ilia." Wisd. 
vii. ii. 

CHAP, xii.] Hope. 437 

inseparably connected with charity, which there receives 
its full and complete perfection. Charity is that infinite 
treasure, spoken of by the Wise Man, which makes us 
the friends of God : An infinite treasure to men, which they 
that use become the friends of God. 1 The angelic Doctor 
St. Thomas says, that friendship is founded on the mu 
tual communication of goods; for as friendship is nothing 
more than a mutual love between friends, it follows that 
there must be a reciprocal interchange of the good which 
each possesses. 2 Hence the saint says : " If there be no 
communication, there is no friendship." On this account 
Jesus Christ says to his disciples : / have called you 
friends, because all things whatsoever I have heard of My 
Father I have made known to you? Since he had made them 
his friends, he had communicated all his secrets to them. 
St. Francis de Sales says : " If, by a supposition of 
what is impossible, there could be an infinite good (that 
is a God) to whom we belonged in no way whatever, 
and with whom we could have no union or communica 
tion, we should certainly esteem him more than our 
selves; so that we might feel great desire of being able 
to love him; but we should not actually love him, be 
cause love is built upon union; for love is a friendship, 
and the foundation of friendship is to have things in 
common; and its end is union." 4 Thus St. Thomas 
teaches us that charity does not exclude the desire of the 
reward prepared for us in heaven by Almighty God; on 
the contrary, it makes us look to it as the chief object of 
our love, for such is God, who constitutes the bliss of 

1 " Infinitus enim thesaurus est hominibus, quo qui usi sunt, par- 
ticipes facti sunt amicitiae Dei." Wisd. vii. 14. 

2 "Amicitia super amorem addit mutuam redamationem cum 
quadam communicatione mutua." I. 2, q. 65, a. 5. 

3 " Vos autem dixi Amicos, quia omnia, quaecumque audivi a Patre 
meo, nota feci vobis." John, xv. 15. 

4 Love of God, B. 10, c. 10. 

43 8 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

paradise; for friendship implies, that friends rejoice with 
one another. 1 

The Spouse in the Canticles refers to this reciprocal 
interchange of goods, when she says : My Beloved to me 
and I to Him? In heaven the soul belongs wholly to 
God. and God belongs wholly to the soul, according to 
the measure of her capacity and of her merits. But 
from the persuasion which the soul has of her own noth 
ingness in comparison with the infinite attractions of 
Almighty God, and aware consequently that the claims 
of God on her love are beyond measure greater than her 
own can be on the love of God, she is therefore more 
anxious to procure the divine pleasure than her own en 
joyment ; so that she is more gratified by the pleasure 
which she affords Almighty God by giving herself en 
tirely to him, than by God s giving himself entirely to 
her; but at the same time she is delighted when God 
thus gives himself to her, inasmuch as she is thereby 
animated to give herself up to God with a greater inten 
sity, of love. She indeed rejoices at the glory which 
God imparts to her, but for the sole purpose of referring 
it back to God himself, and of thus doing her utmost 
to increase the divine glory. At the sight of God in 
heaven the soul cannot help loving him with all her 
strength ; on the other hand, God cannot hate any one 
that loves him : but if (supposing what is impossible) 
God could hate a soul that loves him, and if a beatified 
soul could exist without loving God, she would much 
rather endure all the pains of hell, on condition of being 
allowed to love God as much as he should hate her, 
than to live without loving God. even though she could 

1 " Amicorum est quod quaerant invicem perfrui; sed nihil aliu J est 
merces nostra, quam perfrui Deo videndo ipsum; ergo charitas, non 
solum non excludit, sed etiam facit habere oculum ad mercedem." 
In 3 Sent. d. 29, q. i, a. 4. 

2 " Dilectus meus mihi, et ego illi." Cant. ii. 16. 

CHAP, xn.] Hope. 439 

enjoy all the other delights of Paradise. So it is ; for 
that conviction which the soul has of God s boundless 
claims upon her love gives her a greater desire to love 
God than to be loved by him. 

Chanty hopeth all things. St. Thomas, with the Master 
of the Sentences, defines Christian hope to be a " sure 
expectation of eternal happiness/ ~ Its certainty arises 
from the infallible promise of God to give eternal life to 
his faithful servants. Now charity, by taking away sin, 
at the same time takes aways all obstacles to our ob 
taining the happiness of the blessed; hence the greater 
our charity, the greater also and firmer is our hope . 
hope, on the other hand, can in no way interfere with 
the purity of love, because, according to the observa 
tion of St. Dionysius the Areopagite, love tends natu 
rally to union with the object beloved; or, as St. Augus 
tine asserts in stronger terms, love itself is like a chain 
of gold that links together the hearts of the lover and 
the loved. " Love is as it were a kind of bond uniting 
two together." : And as this union can never be effected 
at a distance, the person that loves always longs for the 
presence of the object of his love. The sacred spouse 
languished in the absence of her beloved, and entreated 
her companions to acquaint him with her sorrow, that 
he might come and console her with his presence : / ad 
jure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if you find my Beloved, 
that you tell Him that I languish with love. 1 A soul that 
loves Jesus Christ exceedingly cannot but desire and 
hope, as long as she remains on earth, to go without de 
lay and be united to her beloved Lord in heaven. 

1 " Charitas omnia sperat." 

2 " Spes est certa exspectatio beatitudinis." In 3 Sent. d. 26. 

" Amor est quaedam vitta duo aliqua copulans." DC T)in. \. 8, 
c. 10. 

4 " Adjuro vos, filiae Jerusalem, si inveneritis Dilectum meum, ut 
nuntietis ei quia amore langueo." Cant. v. 8. 

440 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

Thus we see that the desire to go and see God in 
heaven, not so much for the delight which we shall ex 
perience in loving God, as for the pleasure which we 
shall afford God by loving him, is pure and perfect love. 
Nor is the joy of the blessed in heaven any hindrance 
to the purity of their love ; such joy is inseparable from 
their love ; but they take far more satisfaction in their 
love of God than in the joy that it affords them. Some 
one will perhaps say : But the desire of a reward is 
rather a love of concupiscence than a love of friendship. 
We must therefore make a distinction between temporal 
rewardj promised by men and the eternal rewards of 
paradise promised by God to those who love him : the 
rewards given by man are distinct from their own per 
sons and independent of them, since they do not bestow 
themselves, but only their goods, when they would re 
munerate others ; on the contrary, the principal reward 
which God gives to the blessed is the gift of himself : 
I am thy reward exceeding great? Hence to desire heaven 
is the same thing as to desire God, who is our last end. 

I wish here to propose a doubt, which may rise in the 
mind of one who loves God, and strives to conform him 
self in all things to his blessed will. If it should be ever 
revealed to such a one that he would be eternally lost, 
would he be obliged to bow to it with resignation, in 
order to practise conformity with the will of God ? St. 
Thomas says no ; and further, that he would sin by con 
senting to it, because he would be consenting to live in 
a state that involves sin, and is contrary to the last end 
for which God created him ; for God did not create 
souls to hate him in hell, but to love him in heaven : so 
that he does not wish the death even of the sinner, but 
that all should be converted and saved. The holy Doc 
tor says that God wishes no one to be damned except 

1 " Ego . . . merces tua magna nimis." Gen. xv. i. 

CHAP. XII.] HopC. 441 

through sin ; and therefore, a person, by consenting to 
his damnation, would not be acting in conformity with 
the will of God, but with the will of sin. 1 But suppose 
that God, foreseeing the sin of a person, should have 
decreed his damnation, and that this decree should be 
revealed to him, would he be bound to consent to it? 
In the same passage the saint says, By no means ; be 
cause such a revelation must not be taken as an irrevo 
cable decree,- but made merely by way of communication, 
as a threat of what would follow if he persists in sin. 

But let every one banish such baneful thoughts from 
his mind, as only calculated to cool his confidence and 
love. Let us love Jesus Christ as much as possible here 
below ; let us always be sighing to go hence and to be 
hold him in paradise, that we may there love him per 
fectly ; let us make it the grand object of all our hopes, 
to go thither to love him with all our strength. We are 
commanded even in this life to love God with our whole 
strength : Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole 
heart, with thy whole soul, and with all thy strength;* but 
the angelical Doctor 3 says that man cannot perfectly 
fulfil this precept upon earth ; only Jesus Christ, who 
was both God and man, and the most holy Mary, who 
was full of grace and free from original sin, perfectly 
fulfilled it. But we miserable children of Adam, infected 
as we are with sin, can not love God without some im 
perfection ; and it is in heaven alone, when we shall see 
God face to face, that we shall love him, nay more, that 
we shall be necessitated to love him with all our strength. 

Behold, then, the scope of all our desires and aspira 
tions, of all our thoughts and ardent hopes ; to go and 

" Unde, velle suam damnationem absolute, non esset conformare 
suam voluntatem divinae, sed voluntati peccati." De Ver. q. 23, a. 8. 

" Diliges Dominum Deum tuum ex toto corde tuo, et ex tola ani- 
ma tua, et ex omnibus viribus tuis," Luke, x. 27. 
3 In 3 Sent. d. 27. 

44 2 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

enjoy God in heaven, in order to love him with all our 
strength, and to rejoice in the enjoyment of God. The 
blessed certainly rejoice in their own felicity in that 
kingdom of delights ; but the chief source of their hap 
piness, and that which absorbs all the rest, is to know 
that their beloved Lord possesses an infinite happiness ; 
for they love God incomparably more than themselves. 
Each one of the blessed has such a love for him, that he 
would willingly forfeit all happiness, and undergo the 
most cruel torments, rather than that God should lose 
(if it were possible for him to lose) one, even the least 
particle of his happiness. Hence the sight of God s in 
finite happiness, and the knowledge that it can never 
suffer diminution for all eternity, constitutes his para 
dise. This is the meaning of what our Lord says to 
every soul on whom he bestows the possession of eternal 
glory : Enter into the joy of thy Lord. 1 It is not the joy 
that enters into the blessed soul, but the soul that en 
ters into the joy of God, since the joy of God is the ob 
ject of the joy of the blessed. Thus the good of God 
will be the good of the blessed ; the riches of God will 
be their riches, and the happiness of God will be their 

On the instant that a soul enters heaven, and sees by 
the light of glory the infinite beauty of God face to face, 
she is at once seized and all consumed with love. The 
happy soul is then as it were lost and immersed in that 
boundless ocean of the goodness of God. Then it is 
that she quite forgets herself, and inebriated with divine 
love, thinks only of loving her God : They sJiall be ine 
briated with the plenty of Thy House? As an intoxicated 
person no longer thinks of himself, so a soul in bliss can 
only think of loving and affording delight to her beloved 
Lord ; she desires to possess him entirely, and she does 

1 " Intra in gaudium Domini tui." Matt. xxv. 21. 

2 " Inebriabuntur ab ubertate domus tuae." Ps. xxxv. 9. 

CHAP, xin.] Hope. 443 

in fact possess him, without fear of losing him any more; 
she desires to give herself wholly to him, at every mo 
ment, and she does indeed possess him for every moment 
she offers herself to God without reserve, and God re 
ceives her in his loving embraces, and so holds her, and 
shall hold her in the same fond embraces for all eter 

In this manner the soul is wholly united to God in 
heaven, and loves him with all her strength; her love is 
most perfect and complete, and though necessarily finite, 
since a creature is not capable of infinite love, it never 
theless renders her perfectly happy and contented, so 
that she desires nothing more. On the other hand, Al 
mighty God communicates himself, and unites himself 
wholly to the soul, filling her with himself proportion 
ately to her merits ; and this union is not merely by 
means only of his gifts, lights, and loving attractions, as 
is the case during the present life, but by his own^very 
essence. As fire penetrates iron, and seems to change it 
into itself, so does God penetrate the soul and fill her 
with himself; and though she never loses her own being, 
yet she becomes so penetrated and absorbed by that 
immense ocean of the divine substance, that she remains, 
as it were, annihilated, and as if she ceased to exist. 
The Apostle prayed for this happy lot for his disciples 
when he said: That you may be filled unto all the fulness 
of God^ 

And this is the last end, which the goodness of God 
has appointed for us in the life to come. Hence the soul 
can never enjoy perfect repose on earth; because it is 
only in heaven that she can obtain perfect union with 
God. It is true that the lovers of Jesus Christ find peace 
in the practice of perfect conformity with the will of 
God; but they cannot in this life find complete repose; 

1 " Ut impleamini in omnem plenitudinem Dei." Ep/i. in. 19. 

444 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

this is only obtained when our last end is obtained; that 
is, when we see God face to face, and are consumed with 
his divine love; and as long as the soul does not reach 
this end, she is ill at ease, and groans and sighs, saying: 
Behold, in peace is my bitterness most bitter? Yes, O my 
God, I live in peace in this valley of tears, because such 
is Thy will; but I cannot help feeling unspeakable bit 
terness at finding myself at a distance from Thee, and 
not yet perfectly united with Thee, who art my centre, 
my all, and the fulness of my repose ! 

For this reason the saints, though they were all in 
flamed with the love of God, did nothing but sigh after 
paradise. David cried out: Wo is me, that my sojourn* 
ing is prolonged !* I shall be satisfied when thy glory shall 
appear:" St. Paul said of himself: Having a desire to be 
with Christ* St. Francis of Assisi said : 

" I look for such a meed of bliss, 
That all my pain seems happiness." 5 

These were all so many acts of perfect charity. The 
angelic Doctor teaches us, that the highest degree of 
charity that a soui can reach upon earth, is to desire in 
tensely to go and be united with God, and to enjoy him 
in heaven. 6 But, as we have already seen, this enjoy 
ment of God in heaven does not consist so much in the 
fruition of the delights there lavished on her by Al 
mighty God, as in the pleasure she takes in the happi 
ness of God himself, whom she loves incomparably more 
than herself. 

1 " Ecce in pace amaritudo mea amarissima." Is. xxxviii. 17. 

2 " Heu mihi, quia incolatus meus prolongatus est." Ps. cxix. 5. 

3 " Satiabor cum apparuerit gloria tua." Ps. xvi. 15. 

4 " Desiderium habens dissolvi, et esse cum Christo." Phil. i. 23. 
1 Apophth. 57. 

6 "Tertium autem studium est ut homo ad hoc principaliter intendat, 
ut Deo inhsereat et eo fruatur; et hoc pertinet ad perfectos, qui cupi- 
unt dissolvi, et esse cum Christo." 2. 2, q. 24, a. 9. 

CHAP, xii i Hope. 445 

The holy souls in purgatory feel no pain more acutely 
than that of their yearning to possess God, from whom 
they remain still at a distance. And this sort of pain 
will afflict those especially who in their lifetime had but 
little desire of paradise. Cardinal Bellarmine l also says, 
that there is a certain place in purgatory called, prison 
of honor, 2 where certain souls are not tormented with 
any pain of sense, but merely with the pain of privation 
of the sight of God; examples of this are related by St. 
Gregory, Venerable Bede, St. Vincent Ferrer, and St. 
Bridget; and this punishment is not for the commission 
of sin, but for coldness in desiring heaven. Many souls 
aspire to perfection; but for the rest, they are too in 
different whether they go to enjoy the sight of God, or 
continue on earth. But eternal life is an inestimable 
good, that has been purchased by the death of Jesus 
Christ; and God punishes such souls as have been remis< 
during life in their desires to obtain it. 

Affections and Prayers. 

O God, my Creator and my Redeemer, Thou hast created me 
for heaven ; Thou hast redeemed me from hell to bring me into 
heaven ; and I have so many times, in Thy very face, renounced 
my claim to heaven by my sins, and have remained contented 
in seeing myself doomed to hell ! But blessed forever be Thy 
infinite mercy, which, I would fain hope, has pardoned me, and 
many a time rescued me from perdition. Ah, my Jesus, would 
that I had never offended Thee ! would that I had always loved 
Thee ! I am glad that at least I have still time to do so. I love 
Thee ! O love of my soul, I love Thee with my whole heart ; 1 
love Thee more than myself ! I see plainly that Thou wishest 
to save me, that I may be able to love Thee for all eternity in 
that kingdom of love. I thank Thee, and beseech Thee to help 
me for the remainder of my life, in which I wish to love Thee 
most ardently, that I may ardently love Thee in eternity. Ah, 
my Jesus, when will the day arrive that shall free me from all 
1 DC Purg. \. 2, c. 7. 2 "Career honoratus." 

446 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

danger of losing Thee, that, shall consume me with love, by un 
veiling before my eyes Thy infinite beauty, so that I shall be 
under the necessity of loving Thee? Oh, sweet necessity! oh, 
happy and dear and most desired necessity, which shall relieve 
me from all fear of evermore displeasing Thee, and shall oblige 
me to love Thee with all my strength ! My conscience alarms 
me, and says: " How canst Thou presume to enter heaven?" 
But, my dearest Redeemer, Thy merits are all my hope. 

O Mary, Queen of Heaven, thy intercession is all-powerful 
with God , in thee I put my trust ! 



(Charitas omnia sustinet.} 

He that loves Jesus Christ with a Strong Love does not cease 
to love Him in the midst of all Sorts of Temptations and 

IT is not the pains of poverty, of sickness, of dishonor 
and persecution, which in this life most afflict the souls 
that love God, but temptations and desolations of spirit. 
Whilst a soul is in the enjoyment of the loving pres 
ence of God, she is so far from grieving at all the afflic 
tions and ignominies and outrages of men, that she is 
rather comforted by them, as they afford her an oppor 
tunity of showing God a token of her love; they serve, 
in short, as fuel to enkindle her love more and more. 
But to find herself solicited by temptations to forfeit the 
divine grace, or in the hour of desolation to apprehend 
having already lost it, oh, these are torments too cruel 
to bear for one who loves Jesus Christ with all her heart! 
However, the same love supplies her with strength to 
endure all patiently, and to pursue the way of perfection, 
on which she has entered. And, oh, what progress do 

CHAP, xin.] / Temptations. 447 

those souls make by means of these trials, which God is 
pleased to send them in order to prove their love! 


Temptations are the most grievous trials that can 
happen to a soul that loves Jesus Christ ; she accepts 
with resignation of every other evil, as calculated only 
to bind her in closer union with God; but temptations 
to commit sin would drive her, as we said above, to a 
separation from Jesus Christ; and on this account they 
are more intolerable to her than all other afflictions. 

Why God permits Temptations. 

We must know, however, that although no temptation 
to evil can ever come from God, but only from the devil 
or our own corrupt inclinations: for God is not a tempter 
of evils, end he tempteth no man- ! nevertheless, God does at 
times permit his most cherished souls to be the most 
grievously tempted. 

In the first place, in order that from temptations the 
soul may better learn her own weakness, and the need 
she has of the divine assistance not to fall. Whilst a 
soul is favored with heavenly consolations, she feels as if 
she were able to vanquish every assault of the enemy, 
and to achieve every undertaking for the glory of God. 
But when she is strongly tempted, and is almost reeling 
on the edge of the precipice, and just ready to fall, then 
she becomes better acquainted with her own misery and 
with her inability to resist, if God did not come to her 
rescue. So it fared with St. Paul, who tells us that God 
had suffered him to be troubled with a temptation to 
sensual pleasure, in order to keep him humble after the 
revelations with which God had favored him: And lest the 

1 " Deus enim intentator malorum est, ipse autem neminem tentat." 
James, i. 13. 

448 Practice of the Love of Je sits Christ. 

greatness of the revelations should exalt me, there was given me 
a sting of my flesh) an angel of Satan to buffet me. 1 

Besides, God permits temptations with a view to de 
tach us more thoroughly from this life ; and to kindle in 
us the desire to go and behold him in heaven. Hence 
pious souls, finding themselves attacked day and night 
by so many enemies, come at length to feel a loathing 
for life, and exclaim: Wo is me, that my sojourning is pro 
longed 7 2 And they sigh for the moment when they can 
say: The snare is broken and we are delivered* The soul 
would willingly wing her flight to God; but as long as 
she lives upon this earth she is bound by a snare which 
detains her here below, where she is continually assailed 
with temptations; this snare is only broken by death: so 
that the souls that love God sigh for death, which will 
deliver them from all danger of losing him. 

Almighty God, moreover, allows us to be tempted, to 
make us richer in merits; as it was said to Tobias: And 
because thou wast acceptable to God, it was necessary that temp 
tations should prove thee? Thus a so ul need not imagine 
herself out of God s favor because she is tempted, but 
should make it rather a motive of hope that God loves 
her. It is a delusion of the devil to lead some pusillani 
mous persons to suppose that temptations are sins that 
contaminate the soul. It is not bad thoughts that make 
us lose God, but the consenting to them; let the sugges 
tions of the devil be ever so violent, let those filthy im 
aginations which overload our minds be ever so lively, 
they cannot cast the least stain on our souls, provided 
only we yield no consent to them; on the contrary, they 

1 " Et ne magnitude revelationum extollat me, datus est mihi stimu 
lus carnis meae, angelus Satanae, qui me colaphizet." 2 Cor. xii. 7. 

2 " Heu mihi, quia incolatus meus prolongatus est." Ps. cxix. 5. 

3 " Laqueus contritus est, et nos liberati sumus." Ps. cxxiii. 7. 

4 " Et quia acceptus eras Deo, necesse fuit, ut tentatio probaret te." 
Tob. xii. 13. 

CHAP, xin.] /. Temptations. 449 

make the soul purer, stronger, and dearer to Almighty 
God. St. Bernard says, that every time we overcome a 
temptation we win a fresh crown in heaven: "As often 
as we conquer, so often are we crowned." An angel 
once appeared to a Cistercian monk, and put a crown 
into his hands, with orders that he should carry it to one 
of his fellow-religious, as a reward for the temptation 
that he had lately overcome. 

Nor must we be disturbed if evil thoughts do not 
forthwith disappear from our minds, but continue ob 
stinately to persecute us; it is enough if we detest them, 
and do our best to banish them. God is faithful, says 
the Apostle; he will not allow us to be tempted above 
our strength: God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be 
tempted above that which you are able; but will make also with 
temptation issue, that you may be able to bear it? Thus a per 
son, so far from losing anything by temptations, derives 
great profit from them. On this account God frequently 
allows the souls dearest to him to undergo the severest 
temptations, that they may turn them into a source of 
greater merit on earth, and of greater glory in heaven. 
Stagnant water soon grows putrid; a soul left at ease, 
without any struggle or temptation, stands in great 
danger of perishing from some self-conceit of her own 
merit; she perhaps imagines herself to have already at 
tained to perfection, and therefore has little fear; and 
consequently takes little pains to recommend herself to 
God and to secure her salvation; but when, on the con 
trary, she is agitated by temptations, and sees herself in 
danger of rushing headlong into sin, then she has recourse 
to God; she goes to the divine Mother; she renews her 
resolution rather to die than to sin; she humbles herself, 

1 " Ouoties restiteris, toties coronaberis." In Quadr. s. 5. 

- " Fidelis autcm Deus est, qui non patietur vos tentari supra id 
quod potestis, sed faciet etiam cum tentatione proventum." I Cor. 
x. 13. 


450 Practice of the Love oj Jesus Christ. 

and casts herself into the arms of the divine mercy: in 
this manner, as experience shows us, the soul acquires 
fresh strength and closer union wuh God. 

This must not, however, lead us to seek after tempta 
tions; on the contrary, we must pray to God to deliver 
us from temptations, and from those more especially by 
which God foresees we should be overcome; and this is 
precisely the object of that petition of the Our Father: 
Lead us not into temptation;^ but when, by God s permis 
sion, we are beset with temptations, we must then, with 
out either being alarmed or discouraged by those foul 
thoughts, rely wholly on Jesus Christ, and beseech him 
to help us; and he, on his part, will not fail to give us 
the strength to resist. St. Augustine says: " Throw 
thyself on him, and fear not; he will not withdraw to 
let thee fall." 2 

Remedies against Temptations. 

Let us come now to the means which we have to em 
ploy in order to vanquish temptations. Spiritual mas 
ters prescribe a variety of means; but the most necessary, 
and the safest (of which only I will here speak), is to 
have immediate recourse to God with all humility and 
confidence, saying: Incline unto my aid, O God; O Lord, 
make haste to help me! 3 This short prayer will enable us 
to overcome the assaults of all the devils of hell; for 
God is infinitely more powerful than all of them. Al 
mighty God knows well that of ourselves we are unable 
to resist the temptations of the infernal powers; and on 
this account the most learned Cardinal Gotti remarks, 
" that whenever we are assailed, and in danger of being 

1 " Et ne nos inducas in tentationem." Matt. vi. 13. 

2 " Projice te in eum, noli metuere; non se subtrahet, ut cadas." 
Conf. B. 8, c. ii. 

3 " Deus, in adjutorium meum intende; Domine, ad adjuvandum 
me festina." Ps. Ixix. 2. 

CHAP, xiii.] /. Temptations. 45 1 

overcome, God is obliged to give us strength enough to 
resist as often as we call upon him for it." ] 

And how can we doubt of receiving help from Jesus 
Christ, after all the promises that he has made us in the 
Holy Scriptures? Come to Me, all you that labor and are 
heavy laden, and I will refresh you? Come to me, ye who 
are wearied in fighting against temptations, and I will 
restore your strength. Call upon Me in the day of trouble: 
I will deliver thee, and thou shalt honor Me* When thou 
seest thyself troubled by thine enemies, call upon me, 
and I will bring thee out of the danger, and thou shalt 
praise me. Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall hear: 
thou shalt cry, and He shall say, Here I am.* Then shalt 
thou call upon the Lord for help, and he will hear thee: 
thou shalt cry out, Quick, O Lord, help me! and he will 
say to thee, Behold, here I am; I am present to help thee. 
Who hath called upon Him, and He despised him?* And 
who, says the prophet, has ever called upon God, and 
God has despised him without giving him help? David 
felt sure of never falling a prey to his enemies, whilst he 
could have recourse to prayer; he says: Praising, I will 
call upon the Lord: and I shall be saved from my enemies? For 
he well knew that God is close to all who invoke his aid: 
The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon Him? And St. 

1 " Respondeo, . . . cum tentamur, nobis ad Deum confugientibus, 
per gratiam a Deo paratam et oblatam, vires adfuturas, qua possimus 
resistere et actu resistamus." De Div. Graf. q. 2, d. 5, 3. 

2 " Venite ad me omnes, qui, laboratis et onerati estis, et ego re- 
ficiam vos." Matt. xi. 28. 

3 " Et invoca me in die tribulationis; eruam te, et honorificabis me." 
Ps. xlix. 15. 

4 "Tune invocabis, et Dominus exaudiet; clamabis, et dicet: Ecce 
adsum." Is. Iviii. 9. 

6 " Quis invocavit eum, et despexit ilium? Ecclus. ii. 12. 
6 " Laudans invocabo Dominum, et ab inimicis meis salvus ero." 
Ps. xvii. 4. 
1 " Prope est Dominus omnibus invocantibus eum." Ps. cxliv. 18. 

45 2 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

Paul adds, that the Lord is by no means sparing, but 
lavish of graces towards all that pray to him: Rich unto 
all that call upon Him. 1 

Oh, would to God that all men would have recourse 
to him whenever they are tempted to offend him; they 
would then certainly never commit sin ! They unhappily 
fall, because, led away by the cravings of their vicious 
appetites, they prefer to lose God, the sovereign good, 
than to forego their wretched short-lived pleasures. Ex 
perience gives us manifest proofs that whoever calls on 
God in temptation does not fall; and whoever fails to 
call on him as surely falls: and this is especially true of 
temptations to impurity. Solomon himself said that he 
knew very well he could not be chaste, unless God gave 
him the grace to be so; and he therefore invoked him by 
prayer in the moment of temptation: And as I knew that I 
could not otherwise be continent, except God gave it, . . . / went 
to the Lord and besought Him? In temptations against 
purity (and the same holds good with regard to those 
against faith), we must take it as a rule never to strive 
to combat the temptation hand to hand; but we must 
endeavor immediately to get rid of it indirectly by mak 
ing a good act of the love of God or of sorrow for our 
sins, or else by applying ourselves to some indifferent 
occupation calculated to distract us. At the very instant 
that we discover a thought of evil tendency, we must 
disown it immediately, and (so to speak) close the door 
in its face, and deny it all entrance into the mind, with 
out tarrying in the least to examine its object or errand. 
We must cast away these foul suggestions as quickly as 
we would shake off a hot spark from the fire. 

If the impure temptation has already forced its way 

1 " Dives in omnibus qui invocant ilium." Rom. x. 12. 

2 " Et ut scivi quoniam aliter non possem esse continens, nisi 
Dens det, . . . adii Dominum, et deprecatus sum ilium." Wisd. 
viii. 21. 

CHAP, xiii.] / Temptations. 453 

into the mind, and plainly pictures its object to the im 
agination, so as to stir the passions, then, according to 
the advice of St. Jerome, we must burst forth into these 
words: " O Lord, Thou art my helper." As soon, says 
the saint, as we feel the sting of concupiscence, we must 
have recourse to God, and say: " O Lord, do Thou assist 
me;" we must invoke the most holy names of Jesus and 
Mary, which possess a wonderful efficacy in the suppres 
sion of temptations of this nature. St. Francis de Sales 
says, that no sooner do children espy a wolf than they 
instantly seek refuge in the arms of their father and 
mother; and there they remain out of all danger. Our 
conduct must be the same: we must flee without delay 
for succor to Jesus and Mary, by earnestly calling upon 
them. I repeat that we must instantly have recourse to 
them, without giving a moment s audience to the temp 
tation, or disputing with it. It is related in the fourth 
paragraph of the Book of Sentences of the Fathers? that one 
day St. Pacomius heard the devil boasting that he had 
frequently got the better of a certain monk on account 
of his lending ear to him, and not turning instantly to 
call upon God. He heard.another devil, on the contrary, 
utter this complaint: As for me, I can do nothing with 
my monk, because he never fails to have recourse to God, 
and always defeats me. 

Should the temptation, however, obstinately persist in 
attacking us, let us beware of becoming troubled or 
angry at it; for this might put it in the power of our 
enemy to overcome us. We must, on such occasions, 
make an act of humble resignation to the will of God, 
who thinks fit to allow us to be tormented by these 
abominable temptations; and we must say: O Lord, I 
deserve to be molested with these filthy suggestions, in 

1 " Statim ut libido titillaverit sensum, erumpamus in vocem: Dom- 
inus auxiliator meus !" Epist. ad Eust. 

2 Vittc Patr. 1. 3, n. 35. 

454 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

punishment of my past sins; but Thou must help to free 
me. And as long as the temptation lasts, let us never 
cease calling on Jesus and Mary. It is also very profit 
able, in the like importunity of temptations, to renew our 
firm purpose to God of suffering every torment, and a 
thousand deaths, rather than offend him; and at the same 
time we must invoke his divine assistance. And even 
should the temptation be of such violence as to put us in 
imminent risk of consenting to it, we must then redouble 
our prayers, hasten into the presence of the Blessed 
Sacrament, cast ourselves at the feet of the crucifix, or of 
some image of our Blessed Lady, and there pray with in 
creased fervor, and cry out for help with groans and tears. 
God is certainly ready to hear all who pray to him; and 
it is from him alone, and not from our own exertions, 
that we must look for strength to resist; but sometimes 
Almighty God wills these struggles of us, and then he 
makes up for our weakness, and grants us the victory. 
It is an excellent practice also, in the moment of tempta 
tion, to make the sign of the cross on the forehead and 
breast. It is also of great service to discover the tempta 
tion to our spiritual director. St. Philip Neri used to 
say, that a temptation disclosed is half overcome. 

Here it will be well to remark, what is unanimously 
admitted by all theologians, even of the rigorist school, 
that persons who have during a considerable period of 
time been leading a virtuous life, and live habitually in 
the fear of God, whenever they are in doubt, and are not 
certain whether they have given consent to a grievous 
sin, ought to be perfectly assured that they have not 
lost the divine grace; for it is morally impossible that 
the will, confirmed in its good purposes for a consider 
able lapse of time, should on a sudden undergo so total 
a change as at once to consent to a mortal sin without 
clearly knowing it; the reason of it is, that mortal sin is 
so horrible a monster that it cannot possible enter a soul 

CHAP, xin.] /. Temptations. 455 

by which it has long been held in abhorrence, without 
her being fully aware of it. We have proved this at 
length in our Moral Theology. 1 St. Teresa said: No one 
is lost without knowing it; and no one is deceived with 
out the will to be deceived. 

Wherefore, with regard to certain souls of delicate con 
science, and solidly rooted in virtue, but at the same 
time timid and molested with temptations (especially if 
they be against faith or chastity), the director will find it 
sometimes expedient to forbid them to discover them or 
make any mention of them; because, if they have to 
mention them they are led to consider how such thoughts 
got entrance into their minds, and whether they paused 
to dispute with them, or took any complacency in them, 
or gave any consent to them; and so, by this too great 
reflection, those evil imaginations make a still deeper 
impression on their minds, and disturb them the more, 
Whenever the confessor is morally certain that the peni 
tent has not consented to these suggestions, the best way 
is to forbid him to speak any more about them. And I 
find that St. Jane Frances de Chantal acted precisely in 
this manner. She relates of herself, that she was for 
several years assailed by the most violent storms of 
temptation, but had never spoken of them in confession, 
since she was not conscious of having ever yielded to 
them; and in this she had only followed faithfully the 
rule received from her director. She says, " I never had a 
full conviction of having consented." : These words give 
us to understand that the temptations did produce in her 
some agitation from scruples; but in spite of these, she 
resumed her tranquillity on the strength of the obedience 
imposed by her confessor, not to confess similar doubts. 
With this exception, it will be generally found an ad- 

1 Lib. 6, n. 476. 

2 Life, addit. 

3 MJi. de la M. de Chaugy, p. 3, ch. 27. 

456 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

mirable means of quelling the violence of temptations to 
lay them open to our director, as we have said above. 

But I repeat, the most efficacious and the most neces> 
sary-t>f all remedies against temptations, is that remedy 
of all remedies, namely, to pray to God for help, and to 
continue praying as long as the temptation continues. 
Almighty God will frequently have decreed success, not 
to the first prayer, but to the second, third, or fourth. In 
short, we must be thoroughly persuaded that all our wel 
fare depends on prayer: our amendment of life depends 
on prayer ; our victory over temptations depends on 
prayer; on prayer depends our obtaining divine love, 
together with perfection, perseverance, and eternal sal 

There may be some who, after the perusal of my 
spiritual works, will accuse me of tediousness in so often 
recommending the importance and necessity of having 
continual recourse to God by prayer. But I seem to 
myself to have said not too much, but far too little. I 
know that day and night we are all assailed with tempta 
tions from the infernal powers, and that Satan lets slip 
no occasion of causing us to fall. I know that, without 
the divine help, we have not strength to repel the assaults 
of the devils; and that therefore the Apostle exhorts us 
to put on the armor of God: Put you on the armor of God, 
that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil. 
For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against 
principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of 
this darkness? And what is this armor with which St. 
Paul warns us to clothe ourselves in order to conquer our 
enemies ? Behold of what it consists: By all prayer and 
supplication, praying at all times iti the spirit, and in the same 

1 " Induite vos armaturam Dei, ut possitis stare adversus insidias 
diaboli; quoniam non est nobis colluctatio adversus carnem et san- 
guinem, sed adversus principes et potestates, adversus mundi rectores 
tenebrarum harum." Eph. vi. n, 12. 

CHAP, xiii.] / Temptations. 457 

watching with all instance? This armor is constant and 
fervent prayer to God, that he may help us to gain the 
victory. I know, moreover, that in every page of the 
Holy Scriptures, both in the Old and the New Testa 
ment, we are repeatedly admonished to pray: Call upon 
Me, and I will deliver thee? Cry to Me, and I will hear thee? 
We ought always to pray, and not to faint." Ask, and you 
shall receive? Watch and pray? Pray without ceasing? So 
that I think, far from having spoken too much on prayer, 
I have not said enough. 

I would urge it on all preachers, to recommend nothing 
so much to their audience as prayer; on confessors, to 
insist on nothing so earnestly with their penitents as 
prayer; on spiritual writers, to treat on no subject more 
copiously than on prayer. But it is a source of grief to 
my heart, and it seems to me a chastisement of our sins, 
that so many preachers, confessors, and authors speak so 
little of prayer. There is no doubt that sermons, medi 
tations, Communions, and mortifications are great helps 
in the spiritual life; but if we fail to call upon God by 
prayer in the moment of temptation, we shall fall, in 
spite of all the sermons, meditations, Communions, pen 
ances, and virtuous resolutions. If, then, we really wish 
to be saved, let us always pray, and commend ourselves 
to Jesus Christ, and most of all when we are tempted; 
and let us not only pray for the grace of holy persever 
ance, but at the same time for the grace to pray always. 
Let us, likewise, take care to recommend ourselves to the 
divine Mother, who, as St. Bernard says, is the dispenser 

1 " Per omnem orationem et obsecrationem orantes omni tempore 
in spiritu, et in ipso vigilantes in omni instantia." Eph. vi. 18. 

2 " Invoca me . . . eruam te." Ps. xlix. 15. 

3 " Clama ad me, et exaudiam te." Jer. xxxiii. 3. 

4 " Oportet semper orare et non deficere." Luke, xviii. I. 

5 " Petite, et dabitur vobis." Matt. vii. 7. 

6 "Vigilate et orate." Matt. xxvi. 41. 

7 "Sine intermissione orate." \ Thess. v. 17.. 

45 8 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

of graces: " Let us seek for graces, and let us seek them 
through Mary." 1 For the same saint assures us that it 
is the will of God, that not a single grace should be dealt 
to us except through the hands of Mary: "God has 
willed us to receive nothing that has not passed through 
the hands of Mary." 2 

Affections and Prayers. 

O Jesus, My Redeemer, I trust in Thy blood, that Thou hast 
forgiven me all my offences against Thee ; and I fondly hope to 
come one day to bless Thee for it eternally in heaven : The 
mercies of the Lord I will sing fore^ cr? I plainly see now 
that I have over and over again fallen in times past, from the 
want of entreating Thee for holy perseverance. I earnestly beg 
Thee at this present moment to grant me perseverance : " Never 
suffer me to beseparated from Thee."* And I purpose to make 
this prayer to Thee always ; but especially when I am tempted 
to offend Thee. I indeed make this resolution and promise ; 
but what will it profit me thus to resolve and promise, if Thou 
dost not give me the grace to run and cast myself at Thy feet ? 
By the merits, then, of Thy sacred Passion, oh, grant me this 
grace, in all my necessities to have recourse to Thee. 

Mary, my Queen, and my Mother, I beseech thee, by thy 
tender love for Jesus Christ, to procure me the grace of always 
fleeing for succor, as long as I live, to thy blessed Son and to 


St. Francis de Sales says: " It is a mistake to estimate 
devotions by the consolations which we feel. True 
devotion in the way of God consists in having a deter 
mined will to execute all that is pleasing to God." E Al- 

1 " Quaeramus gratiam, et per Mariam quaeramus." 

2 " Nihil nos Deus voluit habere, quod per Mariae manus non tran- 
siret." In Vig. Nat. s. 3. 

3 " Misericordias Domini in seternum cantabo." Ps. Ixxxviii. 2. 

4 " Ne permittas me separari a te.." 

5 In trod. ch. 13. 

CHAP, xm.i //. Desolations. 459 

mighty God is wont to make use of aridities in order to 
draw closer to him his most cherished souls. Attach 
ment to our own inordinate inclinations is the greatest 
obstacle to true union with God; and when, therefore, 
God intends to draw a soul to his perfect love, he endeav 
ors to detach her from all affection to created goods. 
Thus his first care is to deprive her of temporal goods, 
of worldly pleasures, of property, honors, friends, rela 
tives, and bodily health; by the like means of losses, 
troubles, neglects, bereavements, and infirmities, he ex 
tirpates by degrees all earthly attachment, in order that 
the affections may beset on him alone. 

With a view to produce a fondness for spiritual things, 
God regales the soul at first with great consolations, with 
an abundance of tears and tenderness; she is thus easily 
weaned from the gratifications of sense, and seeks further 
to mortify herself with works of penance, fasts, hair 
cloths, and disciplines; at this stage the director must 
keep a check on her, and not allow her to practise mor 
tifications at least not all those for which she asks per 
mission because, under the spur of this sensible devo 
tions, a soul might easily ruin her health by indiscretion. 
It is a subtle artifice of the devil, when he beholds a per 
son giving himself up to God, and receiving the conso 
lations and caresses which God generally gives to begin 
ners, to do his utmost to plunge him into the performance 
of immoderate penances, so as utterly to destroy his 
health; so that afterwards, by reason of bodily weakness, 
he not only gives up the mortifications, but prayer, Com 
munion, and all exercises of devotion, and eventually 
sinks back into his old way of living. On this account, 
the director should be very sparing in allowing mortifi 
cations to those who are only just entering upon the 
spiritual life, and who desire to practise bodily mortifi 
cations; let him exhort them to practise rather interior 
mortification, by bearing patiently with affronts and 

460 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

contradictions, by obedience to Superiors, by bridling 
the curiosity to see, to hear, and the like; and let him 
tell them, that when they have acquired the good habit 
of practising these interior mortifications, they will then 
be sufficiently perfect to proceed to the external ones. For 
the rest, it is a serious error to say, as some say, that exter 
nal mortifications are of little or no use. Without doubt, 
interior mortification is most requisite for perfection; but 
it does not follow from this that external mortifications 
are unnecessary. St. Vincent of Paul declared that the 
person who does not practise external mortifications will 
be neither mortified interiorly nor exteriorly. And St. 
John of the Cross declared that the director who despised 
external mortifications was unworthy of confidence, even 
though he should work miracles. 

But to come back to our point. The.soul then, in the 
commencement of her conversion to God, tastes the 
sweetness of those sensible consolations with which God 
seeks to allure her, and by them to wean her from 
earthly pleasures ; she breaks off her attachment to 
creatures, and becomes attached to God. Still, her at 
tachment is imperfect, inasmuch as it is fostered more 
by that sensibility of spiritual consolations than by the 
real wish to do what is pleasing to God ; and she de 
ceives herself by believing that the greater the pleasure 
she feels in her devotions, the more she loves Almighty 
God. The consequence of this is, that if this food of 
spiritual consolations is stopped, by her being taken 
from her ordinary exercises of devotion, and employed 
in other works of obedience, charity, or duties of her 
state, she is disturbed, and takes it greatly to heart : 
and this is a universal defect in our miserable human 
nature, to seek our own satisfaction in all that we do. Or 
again, when she no longer finds this sweet relish of devo 
tion in her exercises, she either forsakes them, or lessens 
them ; and continuing to lessen them from day to day, 

CHAP, xiii.]* //. Desolations. 461 

she at length omits them entirely. And this misfortune 
befalls many souls who, when called by Almighty God to 
love him, enter upon the way of perfection, and as long 
as spiritual sweetness lasts, make a certain progress ; 
but alas ! when this is no longer tasted, they leave off 
all, and resume their former ways. But it is of the high 
est importance to be fully persuaded that the love of 
God and perfection do not consist in feelings of tender 
ness and consolation, but in overcoming self-love, and 
in following the divine will. St. Francis de Sales says : 
" God is as worthy of our love when he afflicts us as 
when he consoles us." 

Amid these consolations, it requires no remarkable 
degree of virtue to forego sensual delights, and to en 
dure affronts and contradictions. The soul in the midst 
of these sweetnesses can endure all things ; but this en 
durance comes far more frequently from those sensible 
consolations than from the strength of true love of God. 
On this account the Lord, with a view to give her a solid 
foundation in virtue, retires from her, and deprives her 
of that sensible devotion, that he may rid her of all at 
tachment to self-love, which was fed by such consola 
tions. And hence it happens, that whereas formerly she 
felt a joy in making acts of offering, of confidence, and 
of love, now that the vein of consolations is dried up, 
she makes these acts with coldness and painful effort ; 
and finds a weariness in the most pious exercises, in her 
prayers, spiritual readings, and Communions ; she even 
finds in them nothing but darkness and fears, and all 
seems lost to her. She prays and prays again, and is 
overwhelmed with sadness, because God seems to have 
abandoned her. 

Let us come now to the practice of what we are to do 
on our part in the like circumstances. When Almighty 
God in his mercy deigns to console us with his loving 
visitations, and to let us feel the presence of his grace, 

462 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

it is not good to reject the divine consolations, as some 
false mystics advise: let us thankfully receive them; 
but let us beware of settling down on them, and seeking 
delight in those feelings of spiritual tenderness. St. 
John of the Cross calls this a "spiritual gluttony," which 
is faulty and displeasing to God. Let us strive in such 
moments to banish from our mind the sensible enjoy 
ment of these sweetnesses : and let us be especially on 
our guard against supposing that these favors are a 
token of our standing better with God than others ; for 
such a thought of vanity would oblige God to withdraw 
himself from us altogether, and to leave us in our miser- 
ries. We must certainly at such times return most fer 
vent thanks to God, because such spiritual consolations 
are signal gifts of the divine bounty to our souls, far 
greater than all the riches and honors of this world ; 
but let us not seek then to regale ourselves on these sen 
sible sweetnesses, but let us rather humble ourselves by 
the remembrance of the sins of our past life. For the 
rest, we must consider this loving treatment as the pure 
result of the goodness of God ; and that perhaps it is 
sent as the forerunner of some great tribulation soon to 
befall us, in order that we may be strengthened by these 
consolations to endure all with patience and resignation. 
We should therefore take the occasion of offering our 
selves to suffer every pain, internal or external, that may 
happen to us, every illness, every persecution, every 
spiritual desolation, saying : O my Lord, I am here be 
fore Thee; do with me, and with all that belongs to me, 
whatever Thou wilt ; grant me the grace to love Thee 
and perfectly to accomplish Thy holy will, and I ask no 
more ! 

When a soul is morally certain of being in the grace 
of God, although she may be deprived of worldly pleas 
ures, as well as of those which come from God, she 
nevertheless rests satisfied with her state, conscious, as 

CHAP, xiii.] //. Desolations. 463 

she is, of loving God, and of being loved by him. But 
God, who wishes to see. her purified and divested of all 
sensible satisfaction, in order to unite her entirely to 
himself by means of pure love, what does he do? He 
puts her in the crucible of desolation, which is more 
painful to bear than the most severe trials, whether in 
ternal or external ; she is left in a state of uncertainty if 
she be in the grace of God or not, and in the dense dark 
ness that shrouds her, there seems no prospect of her 
evermore finding God. Almighty God, moreover, will 
sometimes permit her to be assailed by violent sensual 
temptations, accompanied by irregular movements of 
the inferior part, or perhaps by thoughts of unbelief, of 
despair, and even of hatred of God, when she imagines 
herself cast off by him, and that he no longer hears her 
prayers. And as, on the one hand, the suggestions of 
the devil are vehement, and the motions of concupis 
cence are excited, and, on the other, the soul finds her 
self in this great darkness, she can no longer sufficiently 
distinguish whether she properly resists or yields to the 
temptations, though her will resolutely refuses all con 
sent. Her fears of having lost God are thus very much 
increased ; and from her fancied infidelity in struggling 
against the temptations, she thinks herself deservedly 
abandoned by God. The saddest of all calamities seems 
to have befallen her, to be able no longer to love God, 
and to be hated by him. St. Teresa passed through all 
these trials, and declares that during them solitude had 
no charms for her, but, on the contrary, filled her with 
horror ; while prayer was changed for her into a per 
fect hell. 

When a soul that loves God finds herself in this state, 
she must not lose courage ; and neither must he who di 
rects her become alarmed. Those sensual movements, 
those temptations against faith, those feelings of dis 
trust, and those attacks which urge her to hate Almighty 

464 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

God, are fears, are tortures of the soul, are efforts of the 
enemy; but they are not voluntary, and therefore they 
are not sins. The sincere lover of Jesus Christ resists 
valiantly on such occasions, and withholds all consent 
to such suggestions ; but because of the darkness which 
envelops her, she knows not how to distinguish, her 
soul is thrown into confusion, and the privation of the 
presence of divine grace makes her fearful and sad. But 
it can be soon discovered that in these souls, thus tried 
by God, all is dread and apprehension, but not truth : 
only ask them, even in their state of desolation, whether 
they would willingly commit one single deliberate venial 
sin ; they will answer, that they are ready to suffer not 
one, but a thousand deaths, rather than be guilty of such 
displeasure to Almighty God. 

It is necessary, therefore, to make this distinction, that 
it is one thing to perform an act of virtue, such as to 
repel a temptation, to trust in God, to love God, and to 
will what he wills ; and it is another thing to have the 
consciousness of really making these good acts. This 
consciousness of doing good contributes to our pleasure; 
but the profit consists in the first point, that is, in ac 
tually doing good. With the first God is satisfied, 
and deprives the soul of the latter that is, of the con 
sciousness of doing good, in order thus to remove from 
her all self-satisfaction, which adds nothing to the merit 
of the action ; for our Lord seeks more our real advan 
tage than our own satisfaction. St. John of the Cross 
wrote the following words of comfort to a desolate soul: 
"You were never in a better state than at present; for 
you were never so deeply humbled, and so cut off from 
all attachment to this world, and at the same time you 
were never so thoroughly impressed with the conviction 
of your own wickedness. Neither were you ever so di 
vested and purified of all self-seeking as now." 1 Let us, 

1 Lettre 8. 

CHAP, xiii.] //. Desolations. 465 

then, not believe that when we feel a greater tenderness 
of devotion we are more beloved by God; for perfection 
does not consist in that, but in the mortification of our 
own will, and in its union with the will of God. 

Wherefore, in this state of desolation the soul must not 
heed the devil, when he suggests that God has aban 
doned her; nor must she leave off prayer. This is the 
object at which the devil is aiming, in order afterwards 
to drag her down some precipice. St. Teresa writes : 
"The Lord proves his true lovers by dryness and temp 
tations. What though the dryness should be of life 
long duration, let the soul never relax in prayer; the 
time will arrive when all will be abundantly repaid." 
In such a state of suffering, a person should humble him 
self by the reflection that his offences against God are 
undeserving of any milder treatment : he should humble 
himself, and be fully resigned to the divine will, saying: 
O my Lord, behold me at Thy feet; if it be Thy will 
that- 1 should remain thus desolate and afflicted for my 
whole life, and even for all eternity, only grant me Thy 
grace and the gift of Thy love, and do with me whatever 
Thou wilt. 

It will be useless then, and perhaps a source of greater 
disquiet, to wish to assure yourself that you are in the 
grace of God, and that what you experience is only a 
trial, and not abandonment on the part of God. At such 
times it is not the will of God that you should have this 
assurance; and he so wills it for your greater advantage, 
in order that you may humble yourself the more, and 
increase your prayers and acts of confidence in his 
mercy. You desire to see, and God wills that you 
should not see. For the rest, St. Francis de Sales says : 
" The resolution not to consent to any sin, however 
small, is a sure sign that we are in God s grace." 2 But 

1 Life, ch. n. 2 Spirit, ch. 4. 


466 Practice of the Love of Jesus CJirist. 

a soul in profound desolation cannot even clearly dis 
cern this resolution; nevertheless, in such a state she 
must not aim at feeling what she wills; it is enough to 
will with the point of the will. In this manner she 
should entirely abandon herself into the arms of the di 
vine goodness. Oh, how do such acts of confidence and 
resignation ravish the heart of God, when made in the 
midst of the darkness of desolation ! Ah, let us simply 
trust in a God, who (as St. Teresa says) loves us far bet 
ter than we love ourselves. 

Let these souls, then, so dear to God, and who are reso 
lutely determined to belong entirely to him, take com 
fort, although at the same time they see themselves 
deprived of every consolation. Their desolation is a 
sign of their being very acceptable to God, and that he 
has for them a place prepared in his heavenly kingdom, 
which overflows with consolations as full as they are 
lasting. And let them hold for certain, that the more 
they are afflicted in the present life, so much the more 
they shall be consoled in eternity: According to the vntlti- 
tude of my sorrows in my heart \ Thy comforts have given joy to 
my soul. 1 


For the encouragement of souls in desolation, I will 
here mention what is related in the life of St. Jane 
Frances de Chantal. 

For the space of forty years she was tormented by the 
most fearful interior trials, by temptations, by fears of 
being in enmity with God, and of being even quite for 
saken by him. Her afflictions were so excruciating and 
unremitting, that she declared her sole ray of comfort 
came from the thought of death. Moreover she said: 
"I am so furiously assaulted, that I know not where to 

1 "Secundum multitudinem dolorum meorum in corde meo, con- 
solationes tune laetificaverunt animam meam." Ps. xciii. 19. 

CHAP, xiii.] //. Desolations. 467 

hide my poor soul. I seem at times on the point of los 
ing all patience, and of giving up all as utterly lost." 
" The tyrant of temptation is so relentless," she says, 
"that any hour of the day I would gladly barter it with 
the loss of my life; and sometimes it happens that I can 
neither eat nor sleep." 

During the last eight or nine years of her life, her 
temptations became still more violent. Mother de Chatel 
said that her saintly Mother de Chantal suffered a con 
tinual interior martyrdom night and day, at prayer, at 
work, and even during sleep; so that she felt the deepest 
compassion for her. The saint endured assaults against 
every virtue (except chastity), and had likewise to con 
tend with doubts, darkness, and disgusts. Sometimes 
God would withdraw all lights from her, and seem in 
dignant with her, and just on the point of expelling her 
from him; so that terror drove her to look in some other 
direction for relief : but failing to find any, she was 
obliged to return to look on God, and to abandon herself 
to his mercy. She seemed each moment ready to yield 
to the violence of her temptations. The divine assist 
ance did not indeed forsake her; but it seemed to her to 
have done so, since, instead of finding satisfaction in 
anything, she found only weariness and anguish in 
prayer, in reading spiritual books, in Communion, and 
in all other exercises of piety. Her sole resource in this 
state of dereliction was to look upon God, and to let him 
do his will. 

The saint said: "In all my abandonments my mere 
life is a new cross to me, and my incapability of action 
adds considerably to its heaviness." And it was there 
fore that she compared herself to a sick person over 
whelmed with sufferings, unable to turn from one side to 
the other, speechless, so as not to be able to express his 

1 Mt l m. de la M. de Chaugy, p. 3, ch. 27. 

468 Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ. 

ills, and blind, so as not to discern whether the attend 
ants are administering to him medicine or poison. And 
then, weeping bitterly, she added, "I seem to be without 
faith, without hope, and without love for my God." 
Nevertheless, the saint maintained throughout her seren 
ity of countenance and affability in conversation, and 
kept her looks fixedly bent towards God, in the bosom 
of whose blessed will she constantly reposed. Wherefore 
St. Francis de Sales, who was her director, and knew 
well what an object of predilection her beautiful soul 
was to Almighty God, wrote thus of her: " Her heart 
resembled a deaf musician, who, though he may sing 
most exquisitely, can derive no pleasure from it himself." 
And to herself he wrote as follows: " You must endeavor 
to serve your Saviour solely through love of his blessed 
will, utterly deprived of consolations, and overwhelmed 
by a deluge of fears and sadness." It is thus that the 
saints are formed: 

" Long did the chisels ring around, 
Long did the mallet s blows rebound, 
Long work d the head and toil d the hand, 
Ere stood thy stones as now they stand." 2 

The saints of whom the Church sings are precisely these 
choice stones, which are reduced to shapeliness and 
beauty by the strokes of the chisel, that is, by tempta 
tions, by fears, by darkness, and other torments,internal 
and external, till at length they are made worthy to be 
enthroned in the blessed kingdom of Paradise. 

1 Love of God, B. 9, ch. n. 

2 " Scalpri salubris ictibus 

Et tunsione plurima, 

Fabri polita malleo, 

Hanc saxa molem construunt, 

Aptisque juncta nexibus 

Locantur in fastigio." Offic, Dedic. cccl. 

CHAP, xiii.] //. Desolations. 469 

Affections and Prayers. 

O Jesus, my hope, my love and only love of my soul, I deserve 
not Thy consolations and sweet visitations ; keep them for those 
innocent souls that have always loved Thee ; sinner that I am, 
I do not deserve them, nor do I ask for them : this only do I 
ask, give me grace to love Thee, to accomplish Thy adorable 
will during my whole life ; and then dispose of me as Thou 
pleasest ! Unhappy me ! far other darkness, other terrors, other 
abandonments would be due to the outrages which I have done 
Thee : hell were my just award, where, separated from Thee for 
ever, and totally abandoned by Thee, I should shed tears eter 
nally, without ever being able to love Thee more. But no, my 
Jesus, I accept of every punishment ; only spare me this. Thou 
art deserving of an infinite love; Thou hast placed me under an 
excessive obligation of loving Thee; oh, no, I cannot trust my 
self to live and not love Thee ! I do love Thee, my sovereign 
good ; I love Thee with my whole heart ; I love Thee more 
than myself ; I love Thee, and have no other desire than to love 
Thee. I own that this my good-will is the pure effect of Thy 
grace ; but do Thou, O my Lord, perfect Thy own work ; with 
draw not Thy helping hand till death ! Oh, never fora moment 
leave me in my own hands; give me strength to vanquish 
temptations and to overcome myself; and for this end give me 
grace always to have recourse to Thee ! I wish to belong 
wholly to Thee ; I give Thee my body, my soul, my will, and 
my liberty ; I will no longer live for myself, but for Thee alone, 
my Creator, my Redeemer, my love, and my all : my God and 
my all. 1 I desire to become a saint, and I hope this of Thee. 
Afflict me as Thou wilt, deprive me of all ; only deprive me not 
of Thy grace and of Thy love. 

O Mary, the hope of sinners, great is thy power with God ; I 
confide fully in thy intercession : I entreat thee by thy love of 
Jesus Christ, help me, and make me a saint ! 

1 " Deus meus et omnia." 

Abstract of tl)e Virtues treated of in tl)is toork, to be 
Practised b|] ijim roljo oues Sesus Qlljrist, 

We must patiently endure the tribulations of this" life 
ill-health, sorrows, poverty, losses, bereavement of 
kindred, affronts, persecutions, and all that is disagree 
able. Let us invariably look on the trials of this world 
as signs of God s love towards us, and of his desire to 
save us in the world to come. And let us, moreover, be 
fully persuaded that the involuntary mortifications which 
God himself sends us are far more pleasing to him than 
those which are the fruit of our own choice. 

In sickness let us endeavor to resign ourselves entirely 
to the will of God; no devout exercise is more acceptable 
to him than this. If at such times we are unable to 
meditate, let us fix our eyes on our crucified Lord, and 
offer him our sufferings in union with all that he endured 
for us upon the cross. And when we are told that we 
are about to die, let us accept the tidings with tranquility 
and in the spirit of sacrifice; that is, with the desire to 
die, in order to give pleasure to Jesus Christ: it was the 
like desire that gave all the merit to the death of the 
martyrs. We should then say: O Lord, behold me here 
with no other will but Thine own blessed will; I am 
willing to suffer as much as Thou pleasest; I wish to die 
whenever Thou wilt. Nor should we then wish to have 
our life prolonged, in order to do penance for our sins; 
to accept death with perfect resignation outweighs all 
other penance. 

We must likewise practise conformity to the will of 
God in bearing poverty and the various inconveniences 

Abstract of Virtues to be Practised. 471 

which accompany it: cold, hunger, fatigue, contempt, 
and scorn. 

Nor should we be less resigned to losses, whether of 
property or of relatives and friends, on whom our ease 
and happiness depended. Let us acquire the good habit 
of saying in every adversity: God hath so willed it, and 
so I will it likewise. And at the death of our relatives, 
instead of wasting time in fruitless tears, let us employ 
it in praying for their souls; and offer to Jesus Christ, in 
their behalf, the pain of our bereavement. 

Let us, moreover, force ourselves to endure scorn and 
insult with patience and tranquillity. Let us answer 
terms of outrage and injury with words of gentleness; 
but as long as we feel ourselves disturbed, the best plan 
is to keep silence, till the mind grows tranquil. Mean 
while let us not be fretfully speaking to others of the 
affront we have received, but in silence offer it to Jesus 
Christ, who endured so much for us. 


Behave kindly to all, to Superiors and inferiors, to the 
high-born and peasant, to relatives and strangers; but 
more especially to the poor and infirm, and, above all, to 
those who regard us with an evil eye. 

Gentleness in the correction of faults is more effica 
cious than any other means or reasons that may be em 
ployed. Be therefore on your guard against correcting 
in a fit of passion; for then harshness is sure to be 
mingled with it, either in word or action. Beware like 
wise of correcting the person in fault while he is excited; 
for in like cases the result is exasperation instead of im 


Envy not the great ones of this world then riches, 
honors, dignities, or applause given them by men; but 

472 Abstract of Virtues to be Practised. 

envy rather those who most love Jesus Christ, who un 
doubtedly enjoy greater happiness than the first mon- 
archs of the earth. Return thanks to the Lord for en 
lightening you to discover the vanity of all wordly 
things, for the sake of which so many unhappily perish. 


In all our actions and thoughts let us seek only the 
pleasure of Almighty God, and not our private satisfac 
tion; and let us therefore lay aside all disquietude when 
our efforts are attended with failure. And when we suc 
ceed, let us be no less cautious against seeking the 
thanks and approbation of men; should they murmur 
against us, let us pay no attention to this; our consola 
tion will be to have striven to please God, and not 


The chief means of perfection are: 

1. To avoid all deliberate sin, however small. Should 
we, however, happen unfortunately to commit a fault, 
let us refrain from becoming angry and impatient with 
ourselves: we must, on such occasions, quietly repent of 
it; and while we make an act of love to Jesus Christ, 
and beg his help, we must promise him not to repeat the 

2. To have an earnest desire to acquire the perfection 
of the saints, and to surfer all things to please Jesus 
Christ; and if we have not this desire, to beseech Jesus 
Christ, through his bounty, to grant it us; since, as long- 
as we do not feel a sincere desire of becoming saints, we 
shall never make one step forward in the way of perfec 

3. To have a firm resolution of arriving at perfection: 
whoever is wanting in this resolution, works but lan 
guidly, and in the occasion does not overcome his re- 

Abstract of Virtues to be Practised. 473 

pugnances; whereas a resolute soul, by the divine aid, 
which never fails her, surmounts every obstacle. 

4. To make make daily two hours or at least one 
hour s mental prayer; and, except in case of urgent ne 
cessity, never to relinquish it for the sake of any weariness, 
dryness, or trouble that we may experience. 

5. To frequent Holy Communion several times a week, 
in obedience to the counsel of our director; for frequent 
Communion should not be practised against the consent 
of our director. The same rule holds good with regard 
to external mortifications, such as fasting, wearing the 
cilice, taking the discipline, and the rest; mortifications 
of this kind, when practised without obedience to our 
spiritual director, will either destroy health or produce 
vainglory. So that it is necessary for each one to have 
his own director, so that all maybe regulated in obedi 
ence to him. 

6. To pray continually, by having recourse to Jesus 
Christ in all our necessities, by invoking likewise the in 
tercession of our Angel Guardian, of our Holy Patrons, 
and most particularly of the divine Mother, through 
whose hands Almighty God bestows all graces upon us. 
It has already been shown, at the end of Chapter IV., that 
our welfare entirely depends on prayer. We must es 
pecially not pass a day without begging God to grant us 
the gift of perseverance in his grace; whosoever asks 
for this perseverance obtains it, but he that does not 
ask for it obtains it not, and is damned: we must pray, 
too, that Jesus Christ may grant us his holy love and per 
fect conformity with his divine will. Neither should we 
forget to pray for every grace through the merits of Jesus 
Christ. We must first make these prayers when we rise 
in the morning, and afterwards repeat them in our medi 
tation, at Holy Communion, at the visit to the Blessed 
Sacrament, and again in the evening at the examination 
of conscience. We must particularly cry to God for help 

474 Abstract of Virtiies to be Practised. 

in the time of temptation, and more especially in tempta 
tions against purity, when we should not cease to call 
for succor on the holy names of Jesus and Mary. He 
that prays, conquers; he that prays not, is conquered. 


With respect to humility, not to pride ourselves on 
riches, honors, high birth, talents, or any other natural 
advantage, and still less on any spiritual gift, reflecting 
that all are the gifts of God. To consider ourselves the 
worst of all, and consequently to delight in being de 
spised by others; and not to act as some do, who declare 
themselves the worst of men, and at the same time wish 
to be treated as the best. Moreover, to receive correc 
tions humbly, and without attempts to excuse ourselves, 
and this even though blamed wrongfully; except when 
to defend ourselves would be necessary in order to pre 
vent others being scandalized. 

Much more ought we to banish all desire of appearing 
in public, and of being honored by the world. The 
maxim of St. Francis should never be out of our sight : 
" We are just what we are before God." It would be 
still worse for a religious to covet posts of honor and 
superiority in his community. The true honor of a re 
ligious is to be the most humble of all; and he is the 
humblest of all who most joyfully embraces humiliations. 


Detach your heart from all creatures. Whoever con 
tinues bound by the slightest fondness to things of earth 
can never rise to a perfect union with God. 

To detach ourselves especially from an undue affection 
for our relatives. It was said by St. Philip Neri, that 
" whatever affection we bestow on creatures is so much 

Abstract of Virtues to be Practised. 475 

taken from God." In deciding on a state of life, we 
must be quite unbiased by the advice of parents, who 
generally keep their own interests in view, rather than 
our real welfare. 

Cast away all considerations of human respect, and of 
the vain esteem of men ; and, above all, be detached 
from self-will. We must leave all, in order to gain all. 
" All for all," 2 writes Thomas a Kempis. 


Not to give way to anger, whatever happens; but if 
perchance the sparks of passion are suddenly lighted in 
our breasts, let us call on God, and refrain from acting 
or speaking till we are sure that our anger is appeased. 
We shall find it of great service to arm ourselves in 
prayer against every chance of irritation that may befall 
us, in order not then to give way to culpable resentment; 
we should always remember that saying of St. Francis 
de Sales: " I never remember to have been angry with 
out afterwards regretting it." 


All sanctity consists in loving God, and all love of God 
consists in doing his blessed will. We must, therefore, 
bow with resignation to all the dispositions of divine 
Providence without reserve; and so cheerfully submit to 
the adversity as well as prosperity which God sends, to 
the state of life in which God places us, to the sort of 
health which God bestows on us: and this should be the 
grand aim of all our prayers, namely, that God would 
enable us to fulfil his holy will in all things. And in 
order to be certain of the divine will, the religious must 
depend on obedience to his Superior, and those who are 
in the world to their confessor; for nothing is more cer- 

1 Bacci, 1. 2, ch. 15. 

* " Totum pro toto." Imit. Chr. 1. 3, c. 37. 

476 Abstract of Virtues to be Practised. 

tain than that saying of St. Philip Neri: " We shall have 
no account to render to God of what is done through 
obedience." Which is to be understood, of course, as 
long as there is no evident sin in the command. 


There are two remedies against temptations: resigna 
tion and prayer. Resignation, for though temptations do 
not come from God, yet he permits them for our good. 
Wherefore beware of yielding to vexation, however an 
noying the temptations may be; be resigned to the will 
of God, who allows them ; and take up the arms of 
prayer, which are the most powerful and the most cer 
tain to overcome our enemies. Bad thoughts, however 
filthy and abominable, are not sins; it is only the con 
senting to them which makes the sin. We shall never 
be overcome as long as we call on the holy names of 
Jesus and Mary. During the assaults of temptation, it 
is of service to renew our resolution to suffer death 
rather than to offend God; it is also a good practice re 
peatedly to sign ourselves with the sign of the cross, and 
with holy water; it is of great help, too, to discover the 
temptation to the confessor. But prayer is the most 
necessary remedy, and continual cries for help to Jesus 
and Mary. 


Then as to spiritual desolations, there are two acts in 
which we ought principally to exercise ourselves: ist, to 
humble ourselves, with the sincere avowal that we de 
serve no better treatment; 2d, to resign ourselves to the 
will of God, and to abandon ourselves into the arms of 
his divine goodness. When God favors us with consola 
tions, let us prepare ourselves for coming trials, which 
generally follow consolations. If it please God to leave 
us in desolation, let us be humble and fully resigned to 

Abstract of Virtues to be Practised. 477 

his divine will, and we shall thus reap far greater ad 
vantage from desolations than from consolations. 


In order to live always well, we mtist store up deeply 
in our minds certain general maxims of eternal life, such 
as the following: 

All passes away in this life, whether it be joy or sor 
row; but in eternity nothing passes away. 

What good is all the greatness of this world at the 
hour of death ? 

All that comes from God, whether it be adverse or 
prosperous, all is good, and is for our welfare. 

We must leave all, to gain all. 

There is no peace to be found without God. 

To love God and save one s soul is the one thing need 

We need only be afraid of sin. 

If God be lost,all is lost. 

- He that desires nothing in this world is master of the 
whole world. 

He that prays is saved, and he that prays not is 

Let me die, and give God pleasure. 

God is cheap at any cost. 

Every pain is slight to him who has deserved hell. 

He bears all who looks on Jesus crucified. 

Everything becomes a pain that is not done for God. 

Whoever wishes for God alone is rich in every good. 

Happy the man who can say: " My Jesus, I desire 
Thee alone, and nothing more!" 

He that loves God, finds pleasure in everything; he 
that loves not God, finds no true pleasure in anything. 

to tlje ^olri Spirit; 


The Novena to the Holy Spirit is the chief of all the 
Novenas, because it was the first that was ever cele 
brated, and that by the holy Apostles and the most holy 
Mary in the supper-room, and distinguished by so many 
remarkable wonders and gifts ; principally by the gift 
of the same Holy Spirit, a gift merited for us by the 
Passion of Jesus Christ himself. Jesus himself made 
this known to us, when he said to his disciples, that if he 
did not die, he could not send us the Holy Ghost : If I 
go not, the Paraclete will not come to you ; but if I go, I will 
send Him to you} We know well by faith that the Holy 
Ghost is the love that the Father and the Eternal Word 
bear one to the other ; and therefore the gift of love, 
which the Lord infuses into our souls, and which is the 
greatest of all gifts, is particularly attributed to the 
Holy Ghost, as St. Paul says : The charity of God is poured 
forth in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, who is given to us? In 
this Novena, therefore, we must consider, above all, the 
great value of divine love, in order that we may desire 
to obtain it, and endeavor, by devout exercises, and 
specially by prayer, to be made partakers of it, since God 
has promised it to him who asks for it with humility : 

1 " Si autem non abiero, Paracletus non veniet ad vos; si autem 
abiero, mittam eum ad vos." John, xvi. 7. 

2 " Charitas Dei diffusa est in cordibus nostris per Spiritum Sanc 
tum, qui datus est nobis." Rom. v. 5. 

Meditation I. 479 

Your Father from heaven will give the good Spirit to them 
that ask Him. 

Love is a Fire that inflames the Heart. 

God had ordered, in the ancient law, that there should 
be a fire kept continually burning on his altar : The fire 
on the altar shall always burn. 1 St. Gregory 3 says, that 
the altars of God are our hearts, where he desires that 
the fire of his divine love should always be burning ; 
and therefore the Eternal Father, not satisfied with hav 
ing given us his Son Jesus Christ, to save us by his death, 
would also give us the Holy Ghost, that he might dwell 
in our souls, and keep them constantly on fire with love. 

And Jesus himself declared, that he had come into the 
world on purpose to inflame our hearts with this holy 
fire, and that he desired nothing more than to see it 
kindled : / am come to cast fire upon the earth ; and what 
will I but that it be kindled?* Forgetting, therefore, the 
injuries and ingratitude he received from men on this 
earth, when he had ascended into heaven he sent down 
upon us the Holy Spirit. O most loving Redeemer, 
Thou dost, then, love us as well in Thy sufferings and 
ignominies as in Thy kingdom of glory ! Hence it was 
that the Holy Ghost chose to appear in the supper-room 
under the form of tongues of fire : And there appeared to 
them parted tongues, as it were of fire* And hence the 
Church teaches us to pray : " May the Holy Ghost, we 

1 " Pater vester de coelo dabit Spiritum bonum petentibus se." 
Luke, xi. 13. 

" Ignis autem in altari semper ardebit." Lev. vi. 12. 
3 Mor. \. 25, c. 7. 

" Ignem veni mittere in terram; et quid volo, nisi ut accendatur? " 
Luke, xi i. 49. 

" Et apparuerunt illis dispertitse linguae tanquam ignis." Acts, 
ii. 3- 

480 Novcna to the Holy Spirit. 

beseech Thee, O Lord, inflame us with that fire which 
our Lord Jesus Christ came to cast upon the earth, anH 
which he ardently desired should be enkindled." 1 

This was the holy fire which has inflamed the saints to 
do so great things for God, to love their enemies, to de 
sire contempt, to deprive themselves of all earthly goods, 
and to embrace with delight even torments and death. 
Love cannot remain idle, and never says, "It is enough." 
The soul that loves God, the more she does for her be 
loved, the more she desires to do, in order to please him, 
and to attract to herself his affections the more. 

This holy fire is enkindled by mental prayer : In my 
meditation a fire shall flame out? If, therefore, we desire 
to burn with love towards God, let us love prayer ; this 
is the blessed furnace in which this divine ardor is 

Affections and Prayers. 

my God, hitherto I have done nothing for Thee, who hasi 
done such great things for me ! Alas ! my coldness deserves 
that Thou shouldst "vomit me out of Thy mouth." O Holy 
Spirit, I beseech Thee, " warm what is cold," 3 deliver me from 
this coldness, and enkindle within me an earnest desire of 
pleasing Thee. I now renounce all my worldly gratifications; 
and I will rather die than give Thee the least displeasure. 
Thou didst appear in the shape of fiery tongues ; I consecrate 
my tongue to Thee, that it may never offend Thee more. 
Thou didst give it me, O my God, to praise Thee with ; and I 
have made use of it to offend Thee, and to draw others also into 
sinning against Thee. I repent of this with my whole soul. 
Oh, for the love of Jesus Christ, who, during his life on earth t 
honored Thee so much with his tongue, grant that I also may 
from this day forth honor Thee constantly, by celebrating Thy 

1 " Illo nos igne, qtiaesumus, Domine, Spiritus Sanctus inflammet, 
quern Dominus noster Jesus Christus misit in terram, et voluit vehe- 
menter accendi." In Sabb. Pent. 

2 " In meditatione mea exardescet ignis." Ps. xxxviii. 4. 

3 " Fove quod est frigidum." 

Meditation II. 481 

praises, by frequently invoking Thy aid, and by speaking of 
Thy goodness and the infinite love which Thou deservest ! I 
love Thee, my sovereign good, I love Thee, O God of love ! O 
Mary, thou art the most dear spouse of the Holy Ghost, obtain 
for me this holy fire ! 

Love is a Light that Enlightens the Soul. 

One of the greatest evils that the sin of Adam has 
produced in us, is that darkening of our reason by 
means of the passions which cloud our mind. Oh, how 
miserable is that soul that allows itself to be ruled by 
any passion ! Passion, is as it were, a vapor, a veil 
which prevents us from seeing the truth. How can he 
fly from evil, who does not know what is evil ? Besides, 
this obscurity increases in proportion as our sins in 
crease, But the Holy Spirit, who is called " most bless 
ed light," is he who not only inflames our hearts to 
love him, through his divine splendor, but also dispels 
our darkness, and shows us the vanity of earthly things, 
the value of eternal goods, the importance of salvation, 
the price of grace, the goodness of God, the infinite love 
which he deserves, and the immense love which he bears 
us. The sensual man per ceiveth not those things that are of 
the Spirit of God? A man who is absorbed in the pleas 
ures of earth knows little of these truths, and therefore, 
unfortunate that he is, he loves what he ought to hate, 
and hates what he ought to love. St. Mary Magdalene 
of Pazzi exclaimed : O love not known ! O love not 
loved ! " And therefore St. Teresa said that God is 
not loved because he is not known. Hence the saints 
were always seeking light from God : Send forth Thy 

1 " Lux beatissima." 

" Animalis homo non pcrcipit ca qurc sunt Spiritus Dei." I Cor. 
ii. 14. 

482 Novcna to the Holy Spirit. 

light -^ illuminate my darkness ; 2 open Thou my eyes. 3 Yes : 
because without light we cannot avoid precipices, nor 
can we find God. 

Affections and Prayers. 

holy and divine Spirit, I believe that Thou art really God, 
but one only God with the Father and the Son. I adore Thee, 
and acknowledge Thee as the giver of all those lights by which 
Thou hast made known to me the evil which I have committed 
in offending Thee, and the obligation which I am under of 
loving Thee. I thank Thee for them, and I repent with my 
whole heart of having offended Thee. I have deserved that 
Thou shouldst abandon me in my darkness ; but I see that 
Thou hast not yet forsaken me. Continue, O eternal Spirit, to 
enlighten me, and to make me know more and more Thy in 
finite goodness ; and give me strength to love Thee for the fu 
ture with my whole heart. Add grace to grace ; so that I may 
be sweetly overcome, and constrained to love none other but 
Thee. I implore this of Thee, through the merits of Jesus 
Christ. I love Thee, my sovereign good ; I love Thee more 
than myself. I desire to be entirely Thine; do Thou accept 
me, and suffer me not to be separated from Thee any more. O 
Mary, my Mother, do thou always assist me by thy interces 
sion ! 

Love is a Fountain that Satisfies. 

Love is also called a living fountain : " a living foun 
tain, fire, and charity." 4 Our Blessed Redeemer said to 
the Samaritan woman : But he that shall drink of the water 
that I will give him shall not thirst for ever." Love is the 

1 " Emitte lucem tuam." Ps. xlii. 3. 

2 " Illumina tenebras meas." Ps. xvii. 29. 

3 " Revela oculos meos." Ps. cxviii. 18. 

4 " Fons vivus, ignis, charitas." 

5 " Qui autem biberit ex hac aqua quam ego dabo ei, non sitiet in 
seternum." John, iv. 13. 

Meditation III. 483 

water which satisfies our thirst ; he who loves God 
really with his whole heart neither seeks nor desires 
anything else ; because in God he finds every good. 
Wherefore, satisfied with God, he often joyfully ex 
claims, " My God and my all ! " My God, Thou art my 
whole good. 

But the Almighty complains that man) 7 souls go about 
seeking for fleeting and miserable pleasures from creat 
ures, and leave him, who is the infinite good and foun 
tain of all joy : They have forsaken Me, the fountain of liv 
ing water, and have digged to themselves cisterns, broken cis 
terns, that ean hold no water. 1 Wherefore God, who loves 
us, and desires to see us happy, cries out and makes 
known to all : If any tJiirst, let them come to me? He who 
desires to be happy, let him come to me ; and I will 
give him the Holy Ghost, who will make him blessed 
both in this life and the next. He that belicvcth in Me 
(he goes on to say), as the Scripture saith, Out of his belly 
shall flow rivers of living water? He therefore, that be 
lieves in Jesus Christ, and loves him, shall be enriched 
with so much grace, that from his heart (the heart, that 
is, the will), shall flow many fountains of holy virtues, 
which shall not only serve to preserve his own life, but 
also to give life to others. And this water was the Holy 
Ghost, the substantial love which Jesus Christ promised 
to send us from heaven after his ascension : Now this He 
said of tJie Spirit, which they should receive who believed in 
Him, for as yet the Spirit was not given, because Jesus was 
not yet glorified? 

1 " Me dereliquerunt fontem aquae vivac, et fodernnt sibi cisternas, 
cistcrnas dissipatas, qure continere non valent aquas." Jcr. ii. 13. 
" Si quis sitit veniat ad me, et bibat." John, vii. 37. 

3 " Qui credit in me, sicut dicit Scriptura, flumina de vcntre cjus 
fluent aquae vivae." Ibid. 38. 

1 " Hoc autem dixit dc Spiritu quern accepturi crant credentes in 
eum ; nondum enim erat Spiritus datus, quia Jesus nondum erat 
glorificatus." Ibid. 39. 

484 Novena to tlic Holy Spirit. 

The key which opens the channels of this blessed 
water is holy prayer, which obtains every good for us in 
virtue of the promise, Ask, and you shall receive? We are 
blind, poor, and weak ; but prayer obtains for us light, 
strength, and abundance of grace. Theodoret said : 
"Prayer, though but one, can do all things." 5 He who 
prays receives all he wishes. God desires to give us his 
graces ; but he will have us pray for them. 

Affections and Prayers, 

Lord, give me this water? O my Jesus, with the Samaritan 
woman, I beseech Thee, give me this water of Thy love, which 
may make me forget the earth, to live only for Thee, O amiable, 
infinite one. "Water that which is dry." My soul is a barren 
soil, which produces nothing but the weeds and thorns of sin; 
oh, do Thou water it with Thy grace, so that it may bring forth 
some fruits to Thy glory, before death takes me out of this 
world. O fountain of living water, O sovereign good, how 
many times have I left Thee for the puddles of this earth, which 
have deprived me of Thy love ! Oh, would that I had died be 
fore I offended Thee ! But for the future I will seek after noth 
ing but Thee, O my God. Do Thou assist me, and enable me 
to be faithful to Thee. Mary, my hope, do thou keep me always 
under thy protection ! 

Love is a Dew which fertilizes. 

Thus does Holy Church teach us to pray: "May the 
infusion of the Holy Ghost cleanse our hearts, and fer 
tilize them by the interior sprinkling of his dew." 
Love fertilizes the good desires, the holy purposes, and 

1 " Petite et accipietis." John, xvi. 24. 

2 " Oratio, cum sit una, omnia potest." Ap. Rodr. p. I, tr. 5, c. 

3 " Domine, da mihi hanc aquatn." John, iv. 15. 

4 " Sancti Spiritus corda nostra mundet infusio, et sul roris inlima 
aspersione foccundet," 

Meditation IV. 485 

the good works of our souls: these are the flowers and 
fruits which the grace of the Holy Spirit produces. 
Love is also called dew, because it cools the heart of bad 
passions and of temptations. Therefore the Holy Ghost 
is also called refreshment and cooling in the heat: "In 
heat refreshment and pleasing coolness." This dew 
descends into our hearts in the time of prayer. A quar 
ter of an hour s prayer is sufficient to appease every pas 
sion of hatred or of inordinate love, however ardent it 
may be: He brought me into the cellar of wine, He set in 
order charity in me? Holy meditation is this cellar where 
love is set in order, so that we love our neighbor as our 
selves, and God above everything. He who loves God 
loves prayer; and he that loves not prayer will find it 
morally impossible to overcome his passions. 

Affections and Prayers. 

holy and divine Spirit, I will no longer live to myself; but 
I will spend all the days that remain for me in this lire in loving 
Thee and pleasing Thee. Therefore I beseech Thee to grant 
me the gift of prayer. Do Thou descend into my heart, and 
teach me to pray as I ought. Give me strength not to leave it 
off through weariness in times of aridity ; and give me the spirit 
of prayer, that is to say, the grace constantly to pray to Thee, 
and to use those prayers which are clearest to Thy Sacred Heart. 
I was once lost through my sins; but I see, from all the kind 
nesses I have received from Thee, that Thou wiliest that I 
should be saved and become a saint ; and I desire to become a 
saint to give Thee pleasure, and that I may love Thy infinite 
goodness more and more. I love Thee, O my sovereign good, 
my love, my all ; and because I love Thee I give myself entirely 
to Thee. O Mary, my hope, do thou protect me ! 

1 " In aestu temperies, dulce refrigerium." 

" Introduxit me in cellam vinariam ; ordinavit in me charitatem." 
Cant. ii. 4. 

486 Novena to the Holy Spirit. 

Love is a Repose that refreshes. 

Love is also called, "in labor rest, in mourning com 
fort." * Love is repose that refreshes; because the prin 
cipal office of love is to unite the will of the lover to that 
of the beloved one. To a soul that loves God, in every 
affront that it receives, in every sorrow that it endures, 
in every loss that happens to it, the knowledge that it is 
the will of its beloved that it should suffer these trials is 
enough to comfort it. It finds peace and contentment 
in all tribulations by merely saying, This is the will of 
my God. This is that peace which surpasses all the 
pleasure of sense: The peace of God which surpasseth all 
understanding? St. Mary Magdalene of Pazzi, by merely 
saying, "The will of God," was always filled with joy. 

In this life every one must carry his cross ; but St. 
Teresa says, that the cross is heavy for him that drags 
it, not for him that embraces it. Thus our Lord knows 
well how to strike and how to heal: He woundeth^ and 
cureth, says Job. 3 The Holy Spirit, by his sweet unction, 
renders even ignominies and torments sweet and pleas 
ant: Yea, Lord; for so hath it seemed good in Thy sight* 
Thus ought we to say in all adversities that happen to 
us : So be it done. Lord, because so hath it pleased The a. 
And when the fear of any temporal evil that may befall 
us alarms us, let us always say: "Do what Thou wilt, 
my God; whatever Thou doest, I accept it all, hence 
forth." And thus it is a very good thing to offer one s 
self constantly during the day to God, as did St. Teresa. 

1 " In labore requies, in fletu solatium." 

2 " Pax Dei, quse exsuperat omnem sensum." Phil, iv, 7. 

3 " Ipse vulnerat, et medetur." Job, v. 18. 

4 " Ita, Pater! quoniam sic fuit placitum ante te." Matt. xi. 26. 

Meditation VI. 487 

Affections and Prayers. 

my God, how often, for the sake of doing my own will, 
have I opposed myself to Thy will and despised it ! I regret 
this evil more than every other evil. O Lord, from this day 
forward I will love Thee with my whole heart: Speak, Lord; 

for Thy servant heareth. 1 Tell me what Thou wouldst have me 
to do, I will do it all. Thy will shall be my only desire, my only 
love. O Holy Spirit, help my weakness. Thou art goodness 
itself; how can I love any other but Thee ? Oh, do Thou draw 
all my affections to Thyself by the sweetness of Thy holy love. 
I renounce everything, to give myself entirely to Thee. Do 
Thou accept me and help me. O Mary, my Mother, I trust in 
thee ! 

Love is the Virtue which gives us Strength. 

Love is strong as death* As there is no created strength 
that can resist death, so there is no difficulty for a loving 
soul that love cannot overcome. When there is question 
of pleasing its beloved, love conquers all, losses, con 
tempt, and sorrow: "Nothing is so hard, but that the 
fire of love can conquer it." : 

This is the most certain mark whereby to know if a 
soul really loves God, if it is as faithful in love when 
things are adverse as when they are prosperous. St. 
Francis de Sales said, that " God is quite as amiable when 
he chastises as when he consoles us, because he does all 
for love." Indeed, when he strikes us most in this life, 
then it is that he loves us most. St. John Chrysostom & 
esteemed St. Paul in chains more fortunate than St. 
Paul rapt up into the third heaven. 

1 " Loquere, Domine, quia audit servus tuus." i Kings, iii. 10. 
2 " Fords est ut mors dilectio." Cant. viii. 6. 

a " Nihil tarn durum, quod amoris igne non vincatur." De Mor. 
Eccl. Cath. c. 22. 

4 Love of God, B. 9, ch. 2. 

5 In Eph. horn. 3. 

488 Noveua to the Holy Spirit. 

Hence the holy martyrs, in the midst of their torments, 
rejoiced and thanked the Lord, as for the greatest favor 
that could fall to their lot that of having to suffer for 
his love. And other saints, where there were wanting 
tyrants to afflict them, became their own executioners, 
by the penances which they inflicted upon themselves in 
order to please God. St. Augustine says, that " For that 
which men love, either no labor is felt, or the labor itself 
is loved." 1 

Affections and Prayers. 

God of my soul, I say that I love Thee ; and yet what do I 
do for Thy love ? Nothing. This shows, therefore, that either 
I do not love Thee, or I love Thee too little. Send me there 
fore, O my Jesus, Thy Holy Spirit, that he may come and give 
me strength to suffer for Thy love, and to do something for the 
love of Thee before death overtakes me. O my beloved Re 
deemer, let me not die cold and ungrateful as I have hitherto 
been to Thee. Grant me strength to love suffering, after so 
many sins whereby I have deserved hell. O my God, who art 
all goodness and love, Thou desirest to dwell in my heart from 
which I have so often expelled Thee ; come, then, dwell within 
it, take possession of it, and make it entirely Thine. I love 
Thee, O my Lord ; and if I love Thee, Thou art already with 
me, as St. John assures me : He that abideth in charity abideth 
in God, and God in him? Since, therefore, Thou art with me, 
increase the flames, increase the chains, so that I may neither 
seek nor love anything else but Thee ; and thus bound, may 
never be separated from Thy love. I desire to be Thine, O my 
Jesus, and entirely Thine. O Mary, my Queen and Advocate, 
obtain for me love and perseverance ! 

Love causes God to dwell in our Souls. 

The Holy Ghost is called "Sweet guest of the soul." 
This was the great promise made by Jesus Christ to 

1 "In eo quod amatur, aut non laboratur, aut et labor amatur." 
De Bono vid. c. 21. 

2 " Qui manet in charitate, in Deo manet, et Deus in eo." i John, 
iv. 1 6. 

Meditation VII. 489 

those who love him, when he said: If you love Me, I will 
pray My FatJier, and He will send you the Holy Spirit, that 
He may always dwell in you. If you love Me, keep My com 
mandments. And I will ask the Father, and He shall give 
you another Paraclete, that He may abide with you forever. 1 
For the Holy Spirit never forsakes a soul, says the Coun 
cil of Trent, if he is not driven away from it: " He does 
not forsake, unless he be first forsaken." 3 

God, then, dwells in a soul that loves him; but he de 
clares that he is not satisfied if we do not love him with 
our whole heart. St. Augustine tells us, that the Roman 
senate would not admit Jesus Christ into the number of 
their gods, because they said that he was a proud god, 
who would have none other beloved but himself. And 
so it is: he will have no rivals in the heart that loves him; 
and when he sees that he is not the only object loved, he 
is jealous (so to say), according to what St. James writes, 
of those creatures who divide with him the heart which 
he desires to have all to himself: Do you think the Scrip 
ture saith in vain: To envy doth the spirit covet which dwelleth 
in you?* In short, as St. Jerome says, "Jesus is jealous." 4 
Hence the heavenly Spouse praises that soul which, like 
the turtle-dove, lives in solitude and hidden from the 
world: Thy checks are beautiful as the turtle-doves: Because 
he does not choose that the world should take a part of 
that love which he desires to have all to himself, there 
fore he also praises his Spouse by calling her " a garden 
enclosed:" My sister, My spouse, is a garden enclosed.* A 

1 " Si diligitis me, mandata mea servate. Et ego rogabo Patrem, 
et alium Paracletum dabit vobis, ut maneat vobiscum in aeternum." 
John, xiv. 15. 

" Non deserit, nisi deseratur." Sess. vi. c. u. 

"An putatis quia inaniter Scriptura dicat: Ad invidiam concupis- 
cit Spiritus qui habitat in vobis?" James, iv. 5. 

4 " Zelotypus est Jesus." Epist. ad Eust. 

5 " Pulchrae sunt genae tuae sicut turturis." Cant. i. 9. 
" Hortus conclusus, soror mea sponsa." Ibid. iv. 12. 

490 Novena to the Holy Spirit. 

garden closed against all earthly love. Do we doubt 
that Jesus deserves our whole love? He gave himself 
wholly to thee," says St. John Chrysostom; " He left 
nothing for himself." He has given thee all his blood 
and his life; there remains nothing more for him to give 

Affections and Prayers. 

my God, I see that Thou desirest to have me entirely for 
Thine own. I have oftentimes driven Thee from my soul, and 
yet Thou hast not disdained to return to me and reunite Thy 
self to me again. Oh, do Thou now take possession of my 
whole self. I give myself this day entirely to Thee ; accept of 
me, O my Jesus, and let me never for the future live one moment 
deprived of Thy love. Thou seekest me, and I seek none other 
but Thee. Thou desirest my soul, and my soul desires none 
but Thee. Thou lovest me, and I love Thee ; and since Thou 
lovest me, bind me to Thyself, so that I may never more be 
separated from Thee. O Queen of heaven, I trust in thee ! 

Love is a Bond which binds. 

As the Holy Spirit, who is uncreated love, is the in 
dissoluble bond which binds the Father to the Eternal 
Word, so he also unites the soul to God. " Charity is 
a virtue," says St. Augustine, "uniting us to God." 2 
Hence, full of joy, St. Laurence Justinian exclaims: O 
love, thy bond has such strength, that it is able to bind 
even God, and unite him to our souls: " O love, how 
strong is thy bond, which could bind God!" ; 

The bonds of the world are bonds of death; but the 
bonds of God are bonds of life and salvation: Her bonds 
are a healthful binding? Yes, because the bonds of God 

1 " Totum tibi dedit, nihil sibi reliquit." 

2 " Charitas est virtus conjungens nos Deo." 

3 " O charitas ! quam magnum est vinculum tuum, quo Deus ligari 
potuit!" Lign. v. de Char. c. 6. 

4 " Vincula illius, alligatura salutaris." Ecclus. vi. 31. 

Meditation VI I L 491 

by means of love unite us to God, who is our true and 
only life. 

Before the coming of Jesus Christ men fled away from 
God, and being attached to the earth, refused to unite 
themselves to their Creator; but the loving God has 
drawn them to himself by the bonds of love, as he prom 
ised by the prophet Osee: / will draw them with the cords 
of Adam, with the bands of love? These bands are the 
benefits, the lights, the calls to his love, the promises of 
paradise, which he makes to us; but above all, the gift 
which he has bestowed upon us of Jesus Christ in the 
Sacrifice of the Cross and in the Sacrament of the Altar, 
and finally, the gift of his Holy Spirit. Therefore the 
prophet exclaims: Loose the bonds from off thy neck, O captive 
daughter of Zion? O my soul, thou who art created for 
heaven, loose thyself from the bonds of earth, and unite 
thyself to God by the bonds of holy love: Have charity, 
which is the bond of perfection* Love is a bond which 
unites to herself all other virtues, and makes the soul 
perfect. " Love, and do what you will," 4 said St. Augus 
tine. Love God, and do what thou wilt; because he who 
loves God tries to avoid causing any displeasure to his 
beloved, and seeks in all things to please him. 

Affections and Prayers. 

My dearest Jesus, how much hast Thou not done to oblige me 
to love Thee, and how much hath it cost Thee to gain to Thy 
self my love ! Ah, I should be too ungrateful if I loved Thee 
litt.le, or divided my heart between Thy creatures and Thyself, 
after Thou hast given me Thy blood and Thy life. I will de 
tach myself from everything, and in Thee alone will I place all 
my affections. But I am weak in carrying out this my desire ; 

1 " In funiculis Adam traham eos, in vinculis charitatis." Os. xi. 4. 

2 " Solve vincula colli tui, captiva filia Sion." Is. Hi. 2. 

:! " Charitatem habete, quod cst vinculum perfectionis." CoL iii. 

4 " Ama, et fac quod vis." 

49 2 Novcmi to the Holy Spirit. 

O Thou who hast inspired me with it, do Thou give me strength 
to execute it. Pierce my poor soul, O dearest Jesus, with the 
sweet dart of Thy love, so that I may ever languish with desire 
of Thee, and be dissolved with the love of Thee; that I may 
seek Thee alone, desire only Thee, and find none but Thee. My 
Jesus, I desire Thee, and Thee alone. Make me repeat con 
tinually in this life, and especially at the hour of my death, 
" Thee alone do I desire, and nothing else." O Mary, my Mother, 
obtain for me that henceforth I may desire nothing but God. 

Love is a Treasure containing every Good. 

Love is that treasure of which the Gospel says that we 
must leave all to obtain it; yes, because love makes us 
partakers of the friendship of God: An infinite treasure to 
men, which they that use become the friends of God. 1 O man, 
says St. Augustine, wherefore, then, goest thou about 
seeking for good things ? seek that one good alone in 
which all other good things are contained. But we 
cannot find God, who is this sovereign good, if we do 
not forsake the things of the earth. St. Teresa writes, 
" Detach thy heart from creatures, and thou shalt find 
God." 2 

He that finds God finds all that he can desire: Delight 
in the -Lord, and He will give tJiee the requests of thy heart? 
The human heart is constantly seeking after good things 
that may render it happy; but if it seeks them from 
creatures, how much soever it may acquire, it will never 
be satisfied with them; but if it seeks God alone, God 
will satisfy all its desires. Who are the happiest people 

" Infinitus enim thesaurus est hominibus, quo qui usi sunt, partici- 

facti sunt amicitise Dei. Wisd. vii. 14. 

Avis 36. 

"Delectare in Domino, et dabit tibi petitiones cordis tm."Ps. 


a Avis 36 

xxxvi. 4. 

Meditation IX. 493 

in. this world, if it be not the saints ? And why ? Because 
they desire and seek only God. 

A certain prince, as he was going out hunting, saw a 
solitary who was running about in the forest, and asked 
him what he was doing in that desert. The solitary re 
plied, "And thou, O prince, what art thou seeking?" 
The prince said, "I am going out in search of wild 
beasts." And I," said the hermit, " am going out in 
search of God." The tyrant offered gold and gems to 
St. Clement, in order to persuade him to renounce Jesus 
Christ; the saint exclaimed, with a sigh, " Alas, is God 
put into competition with a little dirt ? Blessed is he 
who knows this treasure of divine love, and strives to 
obtain it. He who obtains it will of his own accord 
divest himself of everything else, that he may have 
nothing else but God." " When the house is on fire," 
says St. Francis de Sales, " all the goods are thrown out 
of the window." And Father Paul Segneri the Younger, 
a great servant of God, used to say, that love is a thief, 
which robs us of all earthly affections; so that we can say, 
"And what else do I desire, but Thee alone, O my 
Lord ?" 

Affections and Prayers. 

my God, hitherto I have not sought Thee, but myself and 
my own pleasures ; and for the sake of these I have turned my 
back upon Thee, my sovereign good. But I am comforted by 
these words of Jeremias, The Lord is good to the soul that seckcth 
Him? They tell me that Thou art all goodness towards him 
who seeks Thee. My beloved Saviour, I know the evil that I 
have committed in forsaking Thee, and I repent of it with my 
whole heart. I know that Thou art an infinite treasure. I will 
not abuse this light ; I will forsake all, and choose Thee for my 
only love. My God, my love, my all, I love Thee, I desire Thee, 
I sigh after Thee. Come, O Holy Spirit, and destroy in me by 

1 Spirit, ch. 27. 

9 "Bonus cst Dominus . . . animrc qurerenti illurr." Lam. iii 25. 

494 Novcna to the Holy Spirit. 

Thy sacred fire every affection which has not Thee for its ob 
ject. Grant that I may be all Thine, and that I may conquer 
everything to please Thee. O Mary, my advocate and Mother, 
do thou help me by thy prayers! 

The Means of loving God and of becoming a Saint. 

The more we love God, the more holy do we become. 
St. Francis Borgia says that it is prayer that introduces 
divine love into the human heart; and it is mortification 
that withdraws the heart from the earth, and renders it 
capable of receiving this holy fire. The more there is of 
the earth in the heart, the less room there is for holy 
love : Wisdom is not to be found in the. land of them that live 
in delights. 1 Hence the saints have always sought to 
mortify as much as possible their self-love and their 
senses. The saints are few; but we must live with the 
few, if we will be saved with the few: " Live with the 
few," writes St. John Climacus, "if you would reign 
with the few." : And St. Bernard says, " That cannot be 
perfect which is not singular." He who would lead a 
perfect life must lead a singular life. 

But before all, in order to become saints, it is necessary 
to have the desire to be saints; we must have the desire 
and the resolution. Some are always desiring, but they 
never begin to put their hands to the work. " Of these 
irresolute souls," says St. Teresa, " the devil has no 
fear." On the other hand, the saint said, " God is a 
friend of generous souls." The devil tries to. make it 
appear to us to be pride to think of doing great things 
for God. It would indeed be pride in us, if we thought 
of doing them, trusting in our own strength; but it is 

1 "Sapientia vero ubi invenitur? . . . Nescit homo pretium ejus, 
ncc invenitur in terra suaviter viventium." Job, xxviii. 12, 13. 
" 2 "Vive cum paucis, si vis regnare cum paucis." 
3 " Perfectum non potest esse,.nisi singulare." 

Meditation X. 495 

not pride to resolve to become saints, trusting in God, 
and saying, / can do all things in Him who strengthened 
me. 1 

We must therefore be of good courage, make strong 
resolutions, and begin. Prayer can do everything. What 
we cannot do by our own strength, we shall do easily 
with the help of God, who has promised to give us what 
ever we ask of him: You shall ask whatever you will, and it 
shall be done unto you? 

Affections and Prayers. 

My dearest Redeemer, Thou desirest my love, and com- 
mandest me to love Thee with my whole heart. Yes, my Jesus, 
I desire to love Thee with my whole heart. O my God, I will 
say to Thee, trusting in Thy mercy, my past sins do not make 
me fear, because I now hate them and detest them above every 
other evil ; and I know that Thou dost forget the offences of a 
soul that is penitent and loves Thee. Indeed, because I have 
offended Thee more than others, I will also love Thee more than 
others, with the help that I hope to obtain from Thee. O my 
Lord, Thou desirest that I should be a saint; and I desire to 
become a saint to please Thee. I love Thee, O infinite good 
ness. To Thee do I give myself entirely. Thou art my only 
good, my only love. Accept of me, O my beloved, and make 
me entirely Thine, and suffer me not to offend Thee any more. 
Grant that I may be wholly consumed for Thee, as Thou hast 
wholly consumed Thyself for me, O Mary, the most loving and 
most beloved spouse of the Holy Spirit, obtain for me love and 
fidelity ! 

1 " Omnia possum in eo qui me confortat." Phil. iv. 13. 
" Quodcumque volueritis petetis, ct fiet vobis." Jolin, xv. 7. 

49 6 

Pious Exercise to obtain 

J)ions fecrcisc to obtain tl)c Scucn (Sifts of tljc 


Spiritus Sancti gratia illu- 
minet scnsus ct cor da nostra. 

Veni, Creator Spiritus ! 
Mcntes tuorum visita ; 
I in pic, supcrna gratia, 

Qitcc tit crcasti pcctora. 
Qui dicer is Paraclitus, 

Altissimi Donum Dei ; 
Fons vivus, Ignis, Charitas, 

Et spiritalis Unctio. 
Tu septiformis muncre, 

Digitns Patentee dextercp ; 
Tu rite Promissum Patris, 

Sermon c ditans gicttura. 

May the grace of the Holy 
Spirit enlighten our minds and 
hearts. Amen. 

Come, Holy Ghost, Creator, 

From Thy bright heavenly 

throne ; 
Come, take possession of our 

And make them all Thy own. 

Thou who art called the Para 

Best gift of God above ; 
The living spring, the living 

Sweet unction and true love. 

Thou who art sevenfold in Thy 


Finger of God s right hand ; 
His promise teaching little 

To speak and understand. 

* Pope Pius VI., by a brief, May 26, 1796, granted to all the faith 
ful who, once or oftener in the day, with at least contrite heart and 
devotion, shall say in Latin or in any other language the hymn Veni 
Creator Spiritus, or the sequence Veni Sancte Spirittts, an indulgence of 
three hundred days during the octave of Pentecost, and of one hun 
dred days at any other time ; and, moreover, a plenary indulgence 
each month, on the usual conditions. These indulgences are appli 
cable to the souls in purgatory. ED. 

the Seven Gifts of tJie Holy Ghost. 

Accende lumen scnsibus, 

Infunde am or cm cordibus ; 
Infirma nostri corporis, 

V ir tut e firmans pcrpcti. 
Hostem rcpellas longius, 


Oh ! guide our minds with Thy 

blest light, 

With love our hearts in 
flame ; 
And with Thy strength, which 

ne er decays, 
Confirm our mortal frame. 

Facemquc doncs protinus ; 
Duct ore sic te prccvio, 

V it em us omne noxium. 
Per te sciamus da Pair em ; 

Noscamus atque Filium, 
Tcquc, utrhtsquc Spiritum, 

Credamns omni temporc. 

Deo Patri sit gloria 
Ejusque soli Filio, 
Cum Spiritu Paraclito, 

Nunc ct per omne sccculum. 

Rmittc Spiritum tuttm, ct crc- 

Et rcnovabis faciem tcrrcc. 

Adsit nobis, gucrsumus, Dom- 

Far from us drive our hellish 


True peace unto us bring ; 
And through all perils lead us 

Beneath Thy sacred wing. 

Through Thee may we the 

Father know ; 
Through Thee th Eternal 

And Thee, the Spirit of them 

both ; 
Thrice blessed Three in One. 

All glory to the Father be 

With his coequal Son, 
The like to Thee, great Para 

While endless ages run. 

Send forth Thy Spirit, and 
they shall be created. 

And shalt renew the face of 
the earth. 

Let us pray. 
Assist us, O Lord, we be- 

inc, virtus Spiritus Sancti,qucc seech Thee, with the power of 

et cor da nostra clement er e.vpur- 
gct et ab omnibus tueatur ad- 
versis. Per Christum Dom 
inion nostrum. Amen. 

Thy Holy Spirit.that our hearts 
may be purified according to 
Thy mercy, and we be defend 
ed from all adversities. Amen. 

49 8 Pious Exercise to obtain 

Deus, in adjutorium mciim Incline unto my aid, O God ! 

intende. Domtne, ad adjuvan- O Lord ! make haste to help 

dum me festina. me. 

Gloria Patri et Filio ct Spi- Glory be to the Father, and 

ritui Sancto. Sicut erat in to the Son, and to the Holy 

principio, ct nunc, ct semper, ct Ghost. As it was in the be- 

in scceula saculorum. Amen. ginning, is now, and ever shall 

be, world without end. Amen 

First Prayer to obtain the Gift of the Fear of the Lord. 

Holy Spirit, divine consoler ! I adore Thee as my true 
God, just as I adore God the Father and God the Son. 
I bless Thee by uniting myself to the blessings that Thou 
dost receive from the angels and the seraphs. I offer 
Thee my whole heart, and I render Thee heartfelt thanks 
for all the benefits that Thou hast bestowed and dost 
unceasingly bestow upon the world. Thou who art the 
author of all supernatural gifts, and who didst enrich with 
immense favors the soul of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the 
Mother of God, I beseech Thee to visit me by Thy grace 
and Thy love, and to grant me the gift of Thy holy 
Fear in order that it may prevent me from falling any 
more into my past infidelities, for which I now ask you a 
thousand times to forgive me. 

One Our Father , one Hail Mary, and the Glory be to the 
Father three times. 

Second Prayer to obtain the Gift of Piety. 

Holy Spirit, divine consoler ! I adore Thee as my true 
God, just as I adore God the Father, and God the Son. 
I bless Thee by uniting myself to the blessings that 
Thou dost receive from the angels and the seraphs. I 
offer Thee my whole heart, and I render Thee heartfelt 
thanks for all the benefits that Thou hast bestowed and 
dost unceasingly bestow upon the world. Thou who 
art the author of all supernatural gifts, and who didst 

the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost. 499 

enrich with immense favors the soul of the Blessed Vir 
gin Mary, the Mother of God, I beseech Thee to visit 
me by Thy grace and Thy love, and to grant me the 
gift of piety, in order that I may in future serve Thee 
with greater fervor, follow with greater promptness Thy 
holy inspirations, and observe with greater exactness 
Thy holy precepts. 

One Our Father, one Hail Mary, and the Glory be to the 
Father three times. 

Third Prayer to obtain the Gift of Knowledge. 

Holy Spirit, divine consoler, I adore Thee as my true 
God, just as I adore God the Father and God the Son. 
I bless Thee by uniting myself to the blessings that Thou 
dost receive from the angels and the seraphs. I offer Thee 
my whole heart, and I render Thee heartfelt thanks for 
all the benefits that Thou hast bestowed and dost unceas 
ingly bestow upon the world. Thou who art the author 
of all supernatural gifts, and who didst enrich with im 
mense favors the soul of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the 
Mother of God, I beseecli Thee to visit me by Thy grace 
and Thy love, and to grant me the gift of Knowledge in 
order that I may be able to know well the things of God, 
and that enlightened by Thy holy instructions I may 
steadily walk in the way of my eternal salvation. 

One Our Father, one Hail Mary, and the Glory be to the 
Father three times. 

Fourth Prayer to obtain the Gift of Fortitude. 

Holy Spirit, divine consoler ! I adore Thee as my true 
God, just as I adore God the Father and God the Son. 
I bless Thee by uniting myself to the blessings that Thou 
dost receive from the angels and seraphs. I offer Thee 
my whole heart, and I render Thee heartfelt thanks for 
all the benefits that Thou hast bestowed and dost unceas- 

500 Pious Exercise to obtain 

ingly bestow upon the world. Thou who art the author 
of all supernatural gifts, and who didst enrich with im 
mense favors the soul of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the 
Mother of God. I beseech Thee to visit me by Thy 
grace and Thy love, and to grant me the gift of Forti 
tude, in order that I may be able courageously to over 
come all the attacks of the devil, and escape all the 
dangers of the world that stand in the way of my eternal 

One Our Father, one Hail Mary, and the Glory be to the 
Father three times. 

Fifth Prayer to obtain the Gift of Counsel. 

Holy Spirit, divine consoler ! I adore Thee as my true 
God, just as I adore God the Father and God the Son. 
I bless Thee by uniting myself to the blessings that 
Thou dost receive from the angels and seraphs. I offer 
Thee my whole heart, and I render Thee heartfelt thanks 
for all the benefits that Thou hast bestowed and dost 
unceasingly bestow upon the world. Thou who art the 
author- of all supernatural gifts, and who didst enrich 
with immense favors the soul of the Blessed Virgin 
Mary, the Mother of God, I beseech Thee to visit me 
by Thy grace and Thy love, and to grant me the gift of 
Counsel in order that I may be able to choose what is 
most suitable to my spiritual advancement, and to dis 
cover all the snares and artifices of the evil spirit who 
tempts me. 

One Our Father, one Hail Mary, and the Glory be to the 
Father three times. 

Sixth Prayer to obtain the Gift of Understanding. 

Holy Spirit, divine consoler! I adore Thee as my true 
God, just as I adore God the Father and God the Son. 
I bless Thee by uniting myself to the blessings that Thou 

the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost. 501 

dost receive from the angels and the seraphs. I offer 
Thee my whole heart, and I render Thee heartfelt thanks 
for all the benefits that Thou hast bestowed and dost 
unceasingly bestow upon the world. Thou who art the 
author of all supernatural gifts, and who didst enrich with 
immense favors the soul of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the 
Mother of God. I beseech Thee to visit me by Thy 
grace and Thy love, and to grant me the gift of Under 
standing, in order that I may be able to understand the 
divine mysteries, and by the contemplation of heavenly 
things may detach my thoughts and affections from all 
the vanities of this miserable world. 

One Our Father, one Hail Mary, and the Glory be to the 
Father three times. 

Seventh Prayer to obtain the Gift of Wisdom. 

Holy Spirit, divine consoler ! I adore Thee as my true 
God, just as I adore God the Father and God the Son. 
I bless Thee by uniting myself to the blessings that Thou 
dost receive from the angels and the seraphs. I offer 
Thee my whole heart, and I render Thee heartfelt thanks 
for all the benefits that Thou hast bestowed and dost 
unceasingly bestow upon the world. Thou who art the 
author of all supernatural gifts, and who didst enrich 
with immense favors the soul of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 
the Mother of God. I beseech Thee to visit me by Thy 
grace and Thy love, and to grant me the gift of Wisdom, 
in order that I may be able to direct all my actions by 
referring them to God as my last end, so that by loving 
and serving Thee in this life as I ought to do, I may 
have the happiness of eternally possessing Thee in the 

One Our Father, one Hail Mary, and the Glory be to the 
Father three times. 

502 Pious Exercise to obtain 

Humble Supplication. 

Holy Spirit, divine Paraclete, Father of the poor, con 
soler of the afflicted, light of hearts, sanctifier of souls ! 
behold me prostrate in Thy presence ; I adore Thee with 
the most profound submission, and I repeat a thousand 
times with the seraphs who are before Thy throne : 
Holy, Holy, Holy ! I firmly believe that Thou art 
eternal, consubstantial with the Father and the Son. I 
hope that by Thy goodness Thou wilt sanctify and save 
my soul. I love Thee, O God of love ! I love Thee more 
than all the things of this world ; I love Thee with all 
my affections, because Thou art infinite goodness that 
alone dost merit all love ; and since, insensible as I have 
been to Thy holy inspirations, I have been so ungrateful 
as to offend Thee by so many sins, I ask Thee a thousand 
pardons for them, and I supremely regret having ever 
displeased Thee, O sovereign good ! I offer Thee my 
heart cold as it is, and I supplicate Thee to let a ray 
of Thy light and a spark of Thy fire enter therein to 
melt the hardened ice of my iniquities. Thou who hast 
filled with immense graces the soul of Mary, and in 
flamed with a holy zeal the hearts of the apostles, vouch 
safe also to set on fire my heart with Thy love. Thou 
art a divine Spirit; fortify me against evil spirits: Thou 
art a fire ; enkindle in me the fire of Thy love : Thou 
art a light ; enlighten me so that I may know eternal 
things : Thou art a dove ; give me great purity of heart : 
Thou art a breath that is full of sweetness; dissipate the 
storms that my passions raise up against me: Thou art 
a tongue; teach me the manner of praising Thee without 
ceasing: Thou art a cloud ; cover me with the shadow 
of Thy protection : and if, finally, Thou art the author 
of all heavenly gifts, ah, I beseech Thee to grant them 
to me : vivify me by Thy grace, sanctify me by Thy 

the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost. 503 

charity, govern me by Thy wisdom, adopt me by Thy 
bounty as Thy child, and save me by Thy infinite mercy, 
so that I may never cease to bless Thee, to praise Thee, 
to love Thee, at first during my life on this earth, and 
afterwards for all eternity in heaven. Amen. 

Vent, Sancte Spiritus ! 
Et emitte coelitus, 

Lucis tuce radium. 

Veni, Pater pauper um ! 
Veni, Dator munerum ! 
Veni, Litmen cordium ! 

Consolator optimc, 
Dulcis Hospes animcc, 
Dulce Refrigerium / 

In labore Reqiiies, 
In cestu Temperies, 
In fletu Sola Hum . 

O Lux beatissima ! 
Reple cordis intima 

Tuorum fid el i um. 

Sine tuo nomine, 
Nihil est in homine, 
Nihil est innoxium. 

Lava quod est sordidum, 

Riga quod est aridum, 
Sana quod est saucium. 

Holy Spirit ! Lord of light! 
From Thy clear celestial 

Thy pure, beaming radiance 


Come, Thou Father of the 

poor ! 
Come, with treasures which 

endure ! 
Come, Thou light of all that 


Thou, of all consolers best, 
Visiting the troubled breast, 
Dost refreshing peace be 

Thou in toil are comfort sweet ; 

Pleasant coolness in the heat; 

Solace in the midst of woe. 

Light immortal ! light divine ! 
Visit Thou these hearts of 

And our inmost being fill. 

If Thou take Thy grace away, 
Nothing pure in man will stay ; 
All his good is turn d to ill. 

Heal our wounds our strength 

renew ; 

On ourdryness pour Thy dew ; 
Wash the stains of guilt 



Pious Exercise. 

Flecte quod est rigidum, 

Fove quod est frigidum, 

Rege quod est devium. 

Da tuts fidelibus, 
In te confident ifrus, 

Sacrum septenarium. 

Da virtutis meritum 
Da salutis exitum, 

Da perenne gaudium. Amen. 

Emitte Spiritum tuum et cre- 

Et renovabis faciem terrce. 

Do mine e.raudi orationem 
me am. 

Et clamor meus ad te vcniat. 


Deiis qui charitatis dona per 
gratiam Sancti .Spiritus tuo- 
rum cor dibits fidelium infudis- 
ti ! da famulis tuis, pro quibus 
tuam deprecamur clementiam, 
salutem mentis et cor ports, ut te 
tota virtute diligant, ct, qucc 
tibi placita sunt, tota dz lee t zone 
perficiant. Per Christum Do- 
minum nostrum. Amen, 

Bend the stubborn heart and 

Melt the frozen, warm the 

chill ; 
Guide the steps that go 


Thou, on those who evermore 
Thee confess and Thee adore, 
In Thy sevenfold gifts de 
scend ; 

Give them comfort when they 

Give them life with Thee on 

Give them joys which never 

end. Amen. 

Send forth Thy Spirit, and 
they shall be created. 

And Thou shalt renew the 
face of the earth. 

O Lord, hear my prayer. 

And let my cry come unto 

Let us pray. 

O God, who by the grace of 
the Holy Spirit hast infused 
the gifts of charity into the 
hearts of Thy faithful ! give to 
Thy servants, for whom we im 
plore Thy clemency, health of 
soul and of body, in order that 
they may love Thee with all 
their strength, and may accom 
plish with all their heart what 
is pleasing to Thee. Through 
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Hymn. 505 

To the Holy Ghost. 


BEGONE, ye vain hopes, ye attachments of earth ; 

Give your joys to such souls as no higher can soar; 
Away, far away from my mem ry begone, 

For I seek you no longer, esteem you no more ; 

God of my heart ! make me love Thee alone. 

Adieu, every creature ; I leave you with joy ; 
I no longer am yours nay, I am not my own : 

1 belong but to God, from all else I am free ; 

I am thine, dearest Jesus, all Thine, Thine alone ; 
My best-beloved good ! let me cling but to Thee. 

O amiable Lord ! let Thy sweet holy love 

Now possess my whole being and reign over me; 

Let Thy love in my heart every passion restrain ; 
In that heart which was once so rebellious to Thee, 

O amiable Lord ! come, establish Thy reign. 

O heavenly dew ! that so sweetly dost fall, 

Of passions unholy Thou calmest the glow ; 
Ah ! make me forever enamour d of Thee, 

And live to seek only my God here below. 
O heavenly dew ! descend gently on me. 

O fire all divine ! who with heavenly flames 

Dost those souls where Thou glowest make holy and blest, 
Come Thou to my heart, make it worthy to burn 

With Thy holiest ardors ; inflame my breast ; 
O lire all divine! for Thy ardors I yearn. 

O infinite love ! Ah, how blessed is he 

Who beholds Thy sweet face there in heaven above ! 
Oh ! when shall I too come Thy beauty to see, 

And enjoy Thee forever in transports of love ! 
O infinite love ! haste to draw me to Thee. 



ALACOQUE, Sister Margaret Mary, vision relative to the Sacred Heart 
of Jesus, 113, 230. 

ALOYSIUS, St., his devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, 115; his con 
tentment to die in order to escape the dangers of this world, 420. 

ALVAREZ, Father Balthasar, vision of glory that one acquires by 
patience in sickness, 419. 

AVILA, Venerable John, his sentiments of love and of confidence 
towards Jesus Christ, 270, 290; his humility, 360. 


BERCIIMANS, Venerable Brother John, his devotion to the Blessed 

Virgin, 120. 
BERNARDINE OF SIENNA, ST., his devotion to the Blessed Virgin, 120. 


COMMUNION, love that Jesus Christ has shown us in instituting it, 275; 
desire that he has to be united to us through this sacrament, 278. 
Effects of Communion, 281. Frequent Communion, 347. Coun 
sel as to preparation, 68, 347; as to thanksgiving, 75, 349. Acts 
before, 71; after, 77. Aspirations of love before, 83; after, 93. 
Hymns, 105. Meditations, 213. Spiritual Communion, its utility, 
121 ; acts to make it well, 124, 351. 

CONFESSION, pious exercise to dispose one s self well for it, 61. 

CONFESSORS, counsel about timid persons, 454; prayer, 457; spiritual 
consolation, 458; desolation, 463. 

CONFIDENCE that we should have in Jesus Christ, 285. 

CONFORMITY to the will of God, its necessity, 400; happiness that it 
procures, 403. One surely does God s will by practising obedi 
ence, 409, 475. 

CONSOLATIONS, interior, they are not true devotion, 458 ; behavior 
in regard to them, 461. 

CONTRITION, motives and acts, 63. 

508 Index. 


DEATH, we must prepare for it and desire it above all in sickness, 

420. Divine love makes it desirable, 444. 
DESOLATION, spiritual, 458, 476. 
DETACHMENT from earthly affection, necessary to find God, 371, 474; 

from human respect and from self-will, 387; from relatives, above 

all in regard to vocation, 379. 

DIAZ, Mary, her devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, 173. 
Du PONT, Father Louis, makes a vow never to manifest his sufferings, 



ELEAZAR, ST., fortifies himself in patience by looking at the outraged 

Jesus, 427. 
EUCHARIST, see Mass, Communion, Blessed Sacrament. 


FAITH, it is the foundation of charity, but it is charity that perfects it, 

430; a bad life is an enemy of faith, 431; many believe without 

believing all, 433. 
FERIA, Countess of, a nun of St. Clare, her devotion to the Blessed 

Sacrament, 127. 
FRANCIS of the Infant Jesus, Brother, his devotion to the Blessed 

Sacrament, 173. 
FRANCIS of Assisi, St., his tenderness towards Jesus suffering, 273; he 

thanks God for being able to suffer, 416. 
FRANCIS de Sales, St., his meekness, 316 ; his submission to the divine 

will, 321 ; his patience in sickness, 416; how he triumphed over 

the two passions, anger and love, 395. 
FRIENDSHIP, it presupposes a communication of goods, 437. 


GOD, his love for us, his benefits, 264; he loves to see us suffer, but 
this is for our good, 428. 


HEART of Jesus, apparition to Sister Margaret Mary Alacoque, 113, 
Devotion to the Heart of Jesus, 229. Meditations, 235. Affec 
tions, 256. Hymns, 258. 

HENRY Suso, Blessed, learns by revelation the trials that await him, 

Index. 509 

HOLY GHOST, our divine love, novena, 478; effects that he produces 
in souls, meditations, 479; pious exercise to obtain his gifts, 496; 
hymn, 505. 

HOPE, it augments charity, 434. 

HUMILITY, its necessity and its merit, 358; the practice of it, 361; we 
must avoid vainglory, 366. 


INTENTION, pure, to please God, necessary in all our actions, 323; 
which are signs of it, 326. 


JANE Frances de Chantal, St., her interior trials, 466. 

JESUS CHRIST, love that he has shown us by suffering for us, 265 ; by 
instituting the Blessed Sacrament, 275; desire that he has to be 
united to us, 279; confidence with which this love of our Saviour 
should inspire us, 285; how much we are obliged to love him, 
293; how we should love him, 299; he wishes to be loved alone 
without a competitor, 372. 

JOHN of the Cross, St., chooses a house in which he has more to suffer, 

JONAS, St., Martyr, his resignation sustained by the remembrance of 
Jesus crucified, 418. 

JOSEPH, St., de Leonissa, his courage in a painful operation, 418. 


LA NUSA, Father Louis, his devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, 114. 

LIDWINE, St., her resignation in sufferings, 418; thereby she com 
pleted her crown, 419. 

LOVE, divine, its excellence, 297; its marks, 300; the practice of it, 
305; it perfects faith, 430; and makes hope increase, 435. See 
Holy Ghost and Perfection. 

LUKEWARMNESS, unavoidable, 330; lukewarmncss that one can and 
should avoid, 331; remedies against this vice, 334, 472, 477. 


MARGARET of the Cross, Sister, prefers a poor habit to the purple, 

MARY, Mother of God, how we should honor her, visits, 118. Indul- 

genced prayer for the visits, 125. Visits for every day in the 

month, 129. 

510 Index. 

MASS, the same sacrifice as that of the Cross, 25; its four ends, 58. 
Explanation of the prayers of Mass, 28. Instruction on the 
manner of hearing Mass, 58. Offering of the Mass to obtain the 
remission of sins, 66. 

MEEKNESS, its excellence, the practice of it, 316, 392, 471, 475. 

MORTIFICATIONS, those that come from God or from our neighbor 
are preferable to those of our own choice, 313; exterior mortifi 
cations are necessary, 460. Interior mortification, see Detach 


OBEDIENCE, sure means to fulfil God s will, 409; it should subject 
the will and the judgment, 412. Seculars practise obedience by 
submitting to their confessor, 412. 

ORDERS, holy, sanctity required for receiving them, 382. 


PARADISE, we should desire it in order to love God perfectly; in this 
consists the happiness of the soul, 440. 

PATIENCE, its necessity and its merit, 305; it renders us happy even 
in this life, 310. Patience in sickness, 415; in poverty, 421; in 
the loss of relatives and friends, 425; in contempt, 426. Practi 
cal summary, 470. 

PERFECTION, it consists solely in the love of God, 263, 299; or in 
humility, mortification, and conformity to the divine will, 406; 
means to attain it and persevering in it, 272, 334, 472, 494. 

PETER, Martyr, St., Jesus crucified appears to him in prison, 427. 

PHILIP Neri, St., prefers the house in which he has more to suffer, 

POVERTY, we should patiently bear it and even love it, 421. 

PRAYER, its necessity and efficacy, 351; especially against tempta 
tions, 450, 476. The Lord s prayer, explanation, 48. Mental 
prayer, its utility and importance, 342; subjects for meditation, 

PURGATORY, the greatest pain that one suffers there, and particular 
pain for those that have but little desire for heaven, 445. 


SACRAMENT, Blessed, worship that we owe it, visits, 113. Indul- 
genced prayer for the visits, 123. Visits for every day in the 
month, 127. Aspirations of love, 83. Hymns, 209. Meditations, 

Index. 5 1 1 

SACRIFICES of the Old Law, four kinds, 16; five conditions requisite, 
18; the sacrifice of Jesus Christ fulfils these conditions and real 
izes the figures, 21. See Mass. 

SALESIUS, Father, his devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, 166. 

SICKNESS, with what patience one should bear it, 415. 

SOUL, its happiness and its union with God in heaven, 442. 

SUFFERINGS, their utility, 305. See Patience. 

SUPERIOR, what should be his meekness, 317. 


TEMPTATIONS, pains that they cause a soul that loves Jesus Christ, 
and why God permits them, 447; means to be adopted to con 
quer them, 450, 476. 

TERESA, St., Jesus encourages her to suffer, 418. 


VINCENT de Paul, his meekness, 320; his patience in sickness, 415, 

VOCATION, one is not obliged to obey one s parents when there is 
question of following it, 381; signs of vocation to the ecclesias 
tical state, 382. 


WENCESLAUS, St., his devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, 116. 

Liguorj , A.M. 

ComrO.ete ascetical works